Over at New School Kaidan, I write a few words about some of the recently released promotional videos. At times, this is a bit of a grueling task, and all of my thoughts can get a little scattered when multiple PVs are released on the same day. But, I always try to present the promotional videos in the best light possible, and I try to remember that each of these pieces of entertainment for your a me is actually the manifestation of a dream for some young girl or girls out there in Japan. Here then 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 – Morning Misoshiru (Campfire Version)
Say what you want about another version of “Morning Misoshiru”, but I really enjoyed seeing the campfire version. How many times do we get to see the girls act a bit goofy in a release? Not often. The other bonus for this PV is the audio track, which offers the sounds of the girls laughter and occasional wota chants. I’m I sick of it? Not by a long shot!
Maison Book Girl – faithlessness
Promoting their first major album, Maison Book Girl release the new promotional video for “faithlessness”. This time around, the idols show their faces in this remarkably ‘cool’ clip. Everything about the group is distinctive from their dance filled with arm and shoulder movements to the mallet struck percussion sounding out 7/8 rhythms. Of course the group wins points from me with their perspective building floors and set pieces straight from a 1950’s parlor. If you have an opinion on Maison Book Girl already formed, “faithlessness” isn’t going to change your mind. I do think the song and PV highlight the best features of the group, so you get what you get. “image” will be on record store shelves on April 5, 2017.
Rev.from DVL – NEVER SAY GOODBYE
For their final release, Rev.from DVL bring you “NEVER SAY GOODBYE” and some tissue paper to wipe those tears. With wonderfully constructed and executed choreography, the girls take to the stage one last time. It’s a darkened affair with only a handful of lights adorning the stage, but the memories are literally on the walls. I found “NEVER SAY GOODBYE” emotionally stirring; the group expressed their emotion clearly through their dance (which was always a strong point for Rev). I nearly lost it on the final frames; I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I won’t say much more about it. Best of luck to he girls of Rev.from DVL.
Gang Parade – Foul
“Foul” is the second single released by the 7-piece Gang Parade. The group starts with a location that looks a bit like a storage yard. The members look a bit glammed up with red lips shimmering and hair perfectly coiffed. Shots of the girls enveloped in smoke give the impression that the group freshly apparited into the junkyard set. When the PV transitions abruptly to the back alleys … well, I’m not going to give away the ending. Catch Gang Parade’s “Foul” in stores on April 25, 2017.
Band Janaimon! – Seishun Kara Dada Dash!
I’m finding it really difficult not to like Band Janaimon! The lead track from their new first album immerses the girls in a video game environment through the “magic” of projection. As the girls move from side-scroller to racing game, its clear Band Janaimon! are keeping things classic. Like … 2600 classic. The live band instrumentation is never far from the front of the mix, and that also endears me to the group. You know I hate to compare groups directly, but … yeah, I’m not gonna do it. You draw your own comparisons.
Shinozaki Ai – PepperMint
I could listen to Ai sing the phone book with satisfaction. This bubbly confection of a song is not an exception. Even though the song seems a bit on the fluffy side, “PepperMint” offers some great production with a wonderfully full bass that kicks in a just the right moments. And, who is Mr. PepperMint in the googly-eye derby? It could be me, it could be you! You can find “PepperMint” on Shinozaki Ai’s “LOVE/HATE”.
Hime Kyun Fruits Can – Kokoro Tsunagaru
For their opening theme contribution to NHK E-Tele’s “Pikaia!!”, Hime Kyun Fruits Can deliver an inspiring and uplifting song. Rich with string accompaniment, “Kokoro Tsunagaru” definitely piques my interest. The cut-out animation of the girls adds cute variety to the promotional video. Adding to the animated trip around the globe and under the sea is a dance shot of the group in pure whites. See, I don’t need everything filled with explosions and hyperbole. “Kokoro Tsunagaru” is appropriate to the product and a pleasing addition to my video library.
Hello! Pro Kenshuusei Hokkaido – Real☆Little☆Girl
The Hello! Project Kenshusei system really paid dividends in the last few years, and has hatched about 80% of the current members of the Project. With this track record, it’s natural that the goings on of the trainees are closely watched. The Hokkaido trainees are the newest innovation of the projects. “Real☆Little☆Girl” contains a typically catchy phrase; in this case “UTAE x 4! ODORE X 4!” will worm its way into your cerebral cortex faster than you can say “I’ll have a Sapporo!” If you feel like joining us in the projects, then pick your girl now. There’s a good chance you’ll see her in one of the main groups soon.
Afilia Saga – Higori Teki katsu Teisei Funo na Omoikomi
WOW, Afilia Saga are really pushing the boundaries with this one! With plunging necklines, lollipops, and soft-serve ice cream aplenty there’s no need to even discuss the thirsty looks the girls give each other. And, I’m only describing the first minute of the PV! Really, I can’t remember writing about a PV as overt as “Higori Teki katsu Teisei Funo na Omoikomi”. I don’t dislike the product, but it’s a bit too one the nose. I kept waiting to get things wrong with this one, but nope! It is what it is.
Neve Slide Down – Mellow Dawn
I know you’re out there, idol fans looking for that live band sound. NEVE SLIDE DOWN have you covered with this 1st major single. As the light transitions from the darkness, you’ll hear lot of guitar and drums backing ALISA, Layna, and Mizuhi. Of course, you’ll also need to make peace with the autotune vocal style used liberally throughout “Mellow Dawn”. I like the quiet interlude that breaks suddenly into daylight on the sand dunes. And yes, that’s just like the dawn. NEVE SLIDE DOWN’s major debut will hit stores on March 22, 2017.
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