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:
CY8ER – Te to Te
New faces and new name, but Rinahamu’s CY8ER (formerly BPM15Q) continues its unique electro yume kawaii. Working with a composition by Yunomi and lyrics by Rinahamu and DSK, “Te to Te” features the girls breaking down (digital style) in the broad daylight. Swirling onscreen graphics hint at extra-dimensional existence, and the girls are always just off-screen holding hands. Hand-in-hand may be the only way these fairy existences can survive the scrutiny of broad-daylight. When the sun goes down, things are a bit different. The ethereal CY8ER become solid under moonlight. Without the digital crack-up, the girls dance in a summoning ring of string lights. This brings up the question: which of these scenes is the dream? CY8ER’s second single, “Te to Te”, goes on sale April 18, 2017.
Rock A Japonica – Dreaming Road
Rock A Japonica’s trip down memory lane comes in the form of “Dreaming Road”. Archival footage of the group as they meet their challenges comprises the majority of what you’ll see in this promotional video. The nostalgia and amusement of watching the group transition through their various single release outfits never wears thin. I also enjoy seeing the recording footage as the girls dress comfortably in sweatshirts and eyeglasses. “Dreaming Road” brings us right up-to-date with the reveal of the “Rock A Japonica 4th Tour, ~Revenge for 1000~”. “Dreaming Road” can be found on the “venue only” single “Tambourine Rin Rin” (Dream Edition). Now that we are all caught up, how about that 4th single?
Rosario+Cross – Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa
From their January 30, 2017 release, the girls of Rosario+Cross freshly release a promotional video for their coupling track, “Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa”. For those of us in the office game, watching the girls mime out the frustrations of the cubicle set proves a cathartic act. Even better, you can watch the fun choreography of Rosario+Cross in 60 fps, which makes the movements of the girls and their “from behind the screen” mugging much more visually interesting. With all of the face time, I think I got a better feel for the girls through this PV than any of their other works. Musically, I found the song groovy with its live instrumentation and piano heavy arrangement. Of course, “Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa” is the b-side from a two-month old single- and that shows itself in other production values.
STARMARIE – Hoshi no Tereka
The new STARMARIE is a live shot video of the five girls performing “Hoshi no Tereka”. Everything is dark with the girls from their Stevie Nicks black clothing to the stage lighting in purple and blue. The performance looks great- the girls don’t miss a cue with their choreography. If you’re looking for some bubbly idol music, you won’t find it here! The song’s production is rife with tension and lyricism. You can find “Hoshi no Tereka” as the lead track on the group’s new “FANTASY THEATER” album, due April 4, 2016.
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia
Towa Tei with Ano (Yurumerumo!) – REM
Towa Tei is probably remembered for his work in Dee-Lite some 20+ years ago. Still at the music, he’s teamed up here with Ano from You’ll Melt More for this groovy atmospheric jam. The bright colors wow, and the near 3-dimensional graphics keep popping. From the sushi bedspread to the winged horses to the liquid metal sharks, “REM” keeps everything surreal and dream-like. Yes, this PV provides an extended session of rapid eye movement sleep that’s dreamy in its visuals and its sounds. For Ano’s part: she sounds lovely barely needing to raise her voice above a whisper. Check out the trumpet solos, and I’ll meet you when you wake up! You can find “REM” on Towa Tei’s “EMO” album released on March 22, 2017.
Yanakoto Sotto Mute – Lily
Some groups really mesh well with my non-idol aesthetic. Take Yanakoto Sotto Mute, for example. The live band instrumentation is nice, but the arrangements and musical style really bump them up a notch. The promotional video for Lily, from Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s soon-to-be-released 1st album, makes a case for the biggest contrast of all: life and death. You can see it with the interiors: deathly still with faded whites and weathered paint. You see it with the exteriors: full sun, an ocean heaving with life, and grasses that literally connect existence with the earth. The paradox of floral bouquet, neither fully alive nor fully dead, cuts through every scene like a reminder to choose between a morgue-like existence and a thrashing scream of life. I’m definitely picking up a copy of “BUBBLE” when it’s released on April 5, 2017. Listen to “Lily” and make your own choice.
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