Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170122 to 20170128


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: Morning Musume ’17, Country Girls, Tsubaki Factory, Houkago Princess, 2o Love to Sweet Bullet, FES☆TIVE, Ohara Sakurako (Rewind Exclusive!), PREDIANNA, Ogon Jidai, Yes! Happy, and Sugar & Solt

Morning Musume ’17 – Morning Miso Soup



The first video from Morning Musume ’17 comes in the form of a prootional tie-in with Marukome Miso. “Morning Miso Shiru” is a remake of the group’s 1998 single, “Morning Coffee” re purposed for this 2017 application. The song also marks the debut PV for the new 13th generation: Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina. Things get cozy for the girls as we see them camping in the most glamorous fashion. Decked in fuzzy sweaters and caps, the girls sing along at the campfire, fire up the sparklers, and engage in late night pillow warfare. Of course there’s plenty of Morning Miso Soup to go around. In the first time in quite a while, the Morning Musume seem to be having a lot of fun just being girls in a promotional video, which makes “Morning Miso Shiru” a very refreshing change of pace for the flagship Hello! Project group.

Rewind+

I don’t want to say that Morning Musume ’17 can do no wrong, but really “Morning Misoshiru” hits on all counts. The video is beautifully composed with a variety of interesting shots that range from cliche to unexpected. My gosh, if you don’t want to go camping with Morning Musume ’17 after watching this PV then I question your commitment to the idol lifestyle. And then, JEEZ the girls look gorgeous, get some wonder styling, and show just the right amount of personality. Have you ever seen me gush? ‘Cuz I’m doing it RIGHT NOW.

Buy Morning Musume ’17’s “BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy“!

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MORNING MUSUME Official Links
Web Site | Blog 9 10/11 12 13| Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Google+ | iTunes

Country Girls – Peanut Butter Jelly Love

Honestly, I don’t know what could be cuter than the “Peanut Butter Jelly Love”. Tsugunaga Momoko’s final single release before she hangs up the Momochi Musubi comes in the form of a 1950’s inspired Eric Fukusaki penned gem. “Peanut Butter Jelly Love” sits comfortably next to Country Girl releases like “Itooshikutte Gomen ne” with its backwards glancing musical styles. Fittingly, Momoko gets a really nice solo at the beginning of the jam highlighting a voice that will be missed in Hello! Project. Make sure to stick around for the Funaki Musubu bending spoons and the science experiment gone wrong. “Peanut Butter Jelly Love” rolls into stores on February 8, 2017.

Rewind+

As I have watched “Peanut Butter Jelly Love” practically everyday since its release, I don’t think I need to tell you more about how I feel about this PV. And no, I don’t care if the science experiments don’t match anywhere in the lyrics. I honestly hate when the lyrics sync with the PV … like OMG I’m gonna sing “peanut butter” WE BETTER HAVE JARS OF JIF AROUND!! Yeah, that’s a big ZERO in my book. That said, let’s have more Yanagawa Nanami please.

Buy Country Girls “Good Boy・Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love“!

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Country Girls Official Links
Web Site | Blog: 1 2 | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Google+ | iTunes

Tsubaki Factory – Hatsukoi Sunrise

It’s been a long time coming for Yamagishi Riko and the rest of Tsubaki Factory, but the major release from the latest Hello! Project group finally gets off the ground with “Hatsukoi Sunrise”. And, what a sunrise it is! A high energy song wakes up the group from its slumber with a relentless pace that only breaks for some isolated spoken lines. “Hatsukoi Sunrise” doesn’t stray too much from the Hello! Project house style with the “SUNRISE!” line giving the debut definite claws. As for the promotional video, I don’t mind the group putting new member Onoda Saori front and center for many of the shots, although all the girls seemed to have upped their game in the last few months (I’m looking at you, Niinuma Kisora). I suppose you’re either gonna love or hate the composite shots of the girls and an orange-creamsicle sunrise. Whichever it is for you, the group has undeniably come a long way. You can find “Hatsukoi Sunrise” on the group’s debut single (linked below) on February 22, 2017.

Rewind+

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Tsubaki Factory aren’t playing with house money with this release. After such a long wait, I really want the group to have a measure of success. And if I’m being honest about it, “Hatsukoi Sunrise” isn’t particularly my kind of song, not that it won’t have it’s place. For the breakneck pace of the song, it misses a real melodic hook to reel me in. There are plenty of other songs in this week’s rewind alone that put themselves ahead of “Hatsukoi Sunrise” on my master playlist. The song isn’t bad, but it’s also not a great.

Buy Tsubaki Factory’s “Hatsukoi Sunrise / Just Try! / Uruwashi no Camelia”!

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Tsubaki Factory Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Google+ | iTunes

Houkago Princess – Lychee Red no Unmei

If historical drama is your fancy, look no further than the latest from Houkago Princess. Gorgeously dressed in period inspired gowns, the girls inhabit temples and pavilions lit by paper lanterns a-plenty. The location scouts and set decorators really did their job right with “Lychee Red no Unmei”. Though, I’m not sure I personally understand the reference- lychee are delicious fruits, perhaps some of my favorites. I guess my personal feelings are neither here nor there; “Lychee Red no Unmei” is a thing of beauty to be enjoyed again and again. You can buy HouPri’s 5th single arrives on record store shelves on February 15, 2017.

Rewind+

While I’m not particularly into the song “Lychee Red no Unmei”, there are some positives that I’d be remiss if I didn’t point them out. The vocals layer up nicely, and the period setting looks fantastic. Naturally the reds a pushed very hard … unavoidable really. I should also mention that I can count the number of times I’ve listened to Houkago Princess on my right hand. I am interested in hearing more from the group, but they’ll have to come to me at this point.

Buy Houkago Princess’s “Lychee Red no Unmei“!

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Houkago Princess Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

2o Love to Sweet Bullet – Sokode Sakende Watashi ni Oshiete Hoshii

From what I can tell, this is an unreleased track from 2o Love to Sweet Bullet. The synth pop style of “Sokode Sakende Watashi ni Oshiete Hoshii” really agrees with my ears right now, with some keyboard and drum machine work that remind me a lot of New Order. The promotional video has the girls coming together at a hospital bedside of a fallen comrade, which is very sweet of course. Something in this release seemed to vibrate along with my same wavelength, and I felt the beautiful feeling of isolation and the anticipation of release. I think the video looks gorgeous- the girls seem to glow with each solo shot. All in all, this is the kind of promotional video and song that get me interested in new acts, or at least new acts to me.

Rewind+

What a refreshing change of pace! Here’s another instance where everything seems to go right with a PV. Like so many of the songs on this week’s list, “Sokode Sakende Watashi ni Oshiete Hoshii” goes right to the top of my playlist and stays there for the whole year.

2o Love to Sweet Bullet Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes

FES☆TIVE – Disco Rettou Ukiyo no Yume

On their fourth single, FES☆TIVE want you to have fun in the bath. well, fun in the bath if you’re visiting the bath houses of Japan. As the temperature rises and consciousness slips into dreamland, the girls dream up a disco explosion inside the tiled walls of the bath house. True to its name, much disco happens complete with glittery lights and sequined costumes. All of this makes me wonder why my bath time can’t be as fun as this. “Disco Rettou Ukiyo no Yume” arrives on February 22, 2017.

Rewind+

OK, there are a couple of disco songs on the list this week. “Disco Rettou Ukiyo no Yume” is probably a better promotional video than it is a song. That said, the whole “bathhouse disco” concept is a concept whose time has come. Can I have more laser beams with my hot water bath?

Buy FES☆TIVE’s “Disco Rettou Ukiyo no Yume“!

FES☆TIVE Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | iTunes

Ohara Sakurako – Aoi Kisetsu

Rewind+

OK, you know I have a weakness for talented girls. Ohara Sakurako is a great voice, plays guitar, acts, and probably bakes some mean cupcakes and other assorted pastries. “Aoi Kisetsu” is the coupling song to Sakurako’s 6th single release “Hirari”. Both songs are used in the upcoming movie “Cheerdance (where Sakurako also takes a small role). I suppose it’s nice to see the girl rocking the mic unfettered by her guitar, but I kinda like that guitar. Illuminated with Sakurako’s voice, “Aoi Kisetsu” uplifts and carries the listener to inspired heights … which probably is why it’s included in a movie about a High School Cheer squad with national aspirations. “Cheerdance” lights up the big screen on March 11, while “Hirari” arrives on March 8. That’s TIMING.

Buy Ohara Sakurako’s “Hirari”!

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Ohara Sakurako Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | iTunes

PREDIANNA – Cry Like This

PREDIANNA’s latest promotional video “Cry Like This” proves that they are not kidding. The music is muscular with electric guitars blaring behind a relentless beat with futuristic keyboard sounds blaring out melodies. Zooming through the darkened set we see the five girls looking extra sharp with their choreography. Don’t let the baby faces fool you, PREDIANNA are a talented group of girls with a knack for choreography and delivering beyond their years. They won’t have any part of that trifling idol music; this group plays dances tough and plays tough. “Cry Like This” is from the group’s 1st Mini Album “Artless”, which lands in stores on February 22, 2017.

Rewind+

I’ve been following PREDIANNA for a little bit now, probably because I needed another group of precocious girls who seem to be beyond their ages. That said, I am REALLY impressed with “Cry Like This”. The bass churns things along and the girls sell that choreography like nobody’s business. I’m hard pressed to find anything critical to say about this PV and song, honestly! Watching it now I don’t see how this release misses anyone’s short list. “Cry Like This” is just FANTASTIC.

Buy PREDIANNA’s “Artless“!

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PREDIANNA Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | iTunes

Ougon Jidai – Umi ni mo Himitsu!

Rewind+

Well, I’m not sure about this pirate theme business. “Umi ni mo Himitsu!” plays as a nice idol pop song that plays it mostly safe. A few rhythmic flourishes add some spice (argh! spices!) to the arrangement. There’s a spot in the second verse where the instruments break for a couple of snaps, and that’s everything to me. OK that’s hyperbole. I’ll also echo DLJ‘s sentiment: Yasuda Honoka is a cutie.


Buy Ougon Jidai’s “Kaizoku-ban”!
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Ougon Jidai Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

Yes! Happy – Kanpai Song

From their January 30 M Card, Yes Happy! bring you the promotional video for “Kanpai Song”. Having been part of Up Front Kansai, Sayaka and Kokoro have a nebulous association with Up Front and Hello! Project. That fact only matters in that Yes Happy! have produced a release that clearly puts them above most local idols and indie acts perhaps due to their affiliation. “Kanpai Song” is a fun disco song that would probably sound even better with a couple of pints in the gullet. The girls unwind from their long salaryman jobs with pints of their own and a fun karaoke session. Some hilarious shots of the girls at a children’s play park wearing full business suits only add to the hilarity. “Kanpai Song” comes highly recommended for a good time!

Rewind+

I have a bit of a soft spot for these Up Front groups that don’t get the same support as their counterparts at more successful agencies. Yes Happy! have a really fun song with “Kanpai Song”. It’s real nice to have a drinking song that is idol related. Of course idols dressed as salarymen are always funny.

Yes Happy! Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes

Sugar & Solt – Iro to Ridori no Melody

You should know by now that I have a soft spot for this sort of thing. Sugar & Solt are doing things on probably the barest of budgets. “Iro to Ridori no Melody” cannot boast a riches in budget or quality camera work. You’ll get the girls dancing in a cyclorama, a few horribly balanced outdoor shots, and nothing else for variety. Hell, the video was uploaded in 360p! But, I find myself responding with the earnest delivery of Suzu and Hime. They clearly want the idol life as much as anyone I’ve seen- even if it means sticking to the very bottom of the pan. So I urge you not to look at what Sugar & Solt does not have, but rather look at what could be with this incredibly young group. At this point I would direct you to where you can buy Sugar & Solt’s first single, but I can’t even find that!

Rewind+

Sugar & Solt share something in common with Ougon Jidai: both of these PV’s are WAY too softly focused. I know we want the girls to look like they’re glowing, but couldn’t we just rub some vaseline on the camera lens and move on? OK, that gripe aside I really do enjoy Sugar & Solt more than I probably should.

Sugar & Solt Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | NicoNico| Instagram | iTunes


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