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:
°C-ute – Final Squall
With the first volley from their triple a-side final single, ℃-ute get everyone wet with its “Final Squall”. For fans of Hello! Project, the song is a thank you for the years: the initial frames spell it out in no uncertain terms. Every time the girls sing “sayonara” and “daisuki” it feels like a dagger to the heart. SHOCK EYE gifts ℃-ute with a song dripping with emotion, and ℃-ute delivers with a performance in the round surrounded by lucky fan club members who may or may not have participated in the water works. “Final Squall” sets the bar high for the remaining songs on the group’s 31st single. “To Tomorrow / Final Squall / The Curtain Rises” goes on sale March 29, 2017.
°C-ute To Tomorrow
With the assembled leaders and subleaders of Hello! Project + the Kenshuusei backdancers from the “℃-ute Shinshun Concert 2017 ~℃OMPASS~” tour, the H!P senior group offer this elegant send-off. “To Tomorrow” really emits the graduation vibes with lyrics of atonement, acceptance, and the future. Aside from the dance shots, ℃-ute find themselves on a hill top overlooking the ocean and the oncoming sunset. The cheer and willingness that ℃-ute brings to the sunset, their sunset, is noteworthy in that the group provide a great example of how idols should their transition. Tops in class and talent, the idol world is going to miss this group. ℃-ute’s final single will be released on March 29, 2017.
NGT48 – Seishun Dokei
Seishun Dokei is a gentler song than I was expecting. I’m not sure why – this has much more to do with my expectations than the group. The concept is very cute: putting couples old & young together in a closed off intersection. I also like the costumes: the strong red color, oversized bows, and pleats may not be practical everyday wear, but these are meant to look nice on stage. They look a little bit like choral robes, don’t they? Everything looks looks very home-town driven from the location to the extras to the girls. Like most things from the 48/46 family, the camera work is great with flying drones bringing unique angles and sharp scenes focusing on the best parts of the action. The perky choreography, while not particularly technical (see GEM later), focuses on the best aspects of the girls. I don’t know how long the group will stay this cute and local, but for me it’s welcome.
Cheeky Parade – Shout Along!
Cheeky Parade serve up a flashback to 1980’s coin-op video games with their new single “Shout Along!”. Pastel graphics pop and the girls are copy-pasted into a variety of virtual-looking, Max Headroom style settings. Musically, “Shout Along!” continues the along the same vein as the group’s previous single, “Hands Up!” with crunchy guitars, keyboards, and plenty of the cheeky attitude. On the other side of the coin, the promotional video doesn’t seem to give the girls much to do other than mug for a camera. I have to wonder if Cheeky Parade keeps pulling the short straw when iDOL Street PV budgets are being allocated. Or, perhaps the group is being kept in a holding pattern until the return of Yamamoto Marin and Suzuki Mariya. Ready or not, you can Shout Along with Cheeky Parade on April 26, 2017.
GEM – What If
Here’s why I’m including this dance practice video: witness how sharp their choreography looks! I really wish groups would release PVs like this more often. As a practice video, I know the vibe in the studio was much more relaxed than any PV set. Also, since the emphasis is not on the vocals, we see how the choreography is supposed to work as well as an added sharpness. Also, GEM does some great things with their dances- they’re one of the better dance units out there in the idol world.
TeddyLoid feat. Aina the End – TO THE END
Time to get up as BiSH’s Aina the End and TeddyLoid come together to bring you “TO THE END”. And, you have a choice to make: full color “lute Edition” or the monochromatic “Black & Chrome Edition”. Either choice you make, you’ll be treated to the dance track filled with fresh sounds and enough attitude to sprinkle it on your breakfast cereal. My only misgiving is the process job on Aina’s vocal work: it’s much too excessive for a great singer like her. Need more hype? Wash, rinse, and repeat “TO THE END”. You can find TeddyLoid and Aina’s collaboration on TeddyLoid’s “SILENT PLANET 2 EP vol.4”
Band Janaimon! – Shuutoko Dokkoi
You can draw your own comparisons, but Band Janaimon! Jump around between a few different syles with “Shuutoko Dokkoi”. There’s a bit of mayhem going down with the PV, and that’s an understatement. As the group jump from style to style, outfits change while the camera work tricks the eye into thinking the PV is a one-shot video. Personally, I like the ending best. The girls bust out their instruments while the camera twirls them. I’m not saying this because I think band concepts are superior, but the girls seem to have a level of comfort holding on to their guitars and keytars. When you think about things, “Shuutoko Dokkoi” showcases the many sides of the multifaceted group. If this is your introduction to Band Janaimon!, this is probably not a bad thing.
Yurumerumo! – Furuete Yomigaere
To support thir new EP, Yurumerumo! release a noisy thrash-about promotional video. Now, if you don’t turn it off in the 40 seconds (I know you’re out there), you’ll get to a nice melody on top of a heap of guitar hum that’s interrupted by a quick disco interlude then heads back to that melody. Yes, Ano beats the hell out of a school desk only to fall directly into it, and if that’s not an unintended metaphor then I don’t know what is. I have to admit that since I’ve started writing these New PV Alerts, Yurumurumo! releases have become one of my more anticipated because of their unpredictable schizophrenic nature and an aesthetic that pleases me greatly. You’ll find “Furuete Yomigaere” on Yurumerumo!’s “Kodoku to Gyakushu EP” in stores on March 15, 2017.
Sakidori Hasshinkyoku – It’s Show Time
New idol group Sakidori Hasshinkyoku make their presence known with this new mish-mash of a song. An energetic and eclectic music mashup underscores a promotional video that (among other things) warns of the dangers of consuming mass quantities of “Sakidori Hasshinkyoku X”. In the course of the 4:21, we get a faux basement video shoot, fighting game graphics, Pythonesque animations, an English parlor intrigue, hilariously bad green screen, and a trip to the stars. Yes, “It’s Show Time!” pretty much has everything one could possible ask for. You can ask for the debut release from Sakidori Hasshinkyoku starting March 21, 2017.
ujin – meltdown
This is the PV that kept playing on my playlist that I never got around to. Well, I’m fixing that mistake a bit here. Like (probably) you, I’m a bit fatigued on this kind of idol/rock mix. But, you can’t take the rock out of a guy; which is to say that I can’t deny that sometimes I would rather listen to something like uijin with its hyperactive drums and keyboards. Considering the newness of the group, this is a great product. There’s definitely nothing wrong with the studio shots of the four girls with the haywire graphic overlays. And, there’s no screamo vocals … thanks for that (it’s a bit passe by now, doncha think?). The uijin debut album “stay hungry, stay foolish” goes on sale July 5, 2017, but I can’t find any links through my normal outlets. If you have a tip on this, maybe leave it in the comments?
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