Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 10 2017 (03012 – 0318)


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. Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 8 2017 (0226 – 0304)


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 – Jealousy Jealousy


Looking like an elegant slumber party before the actual slumbering, “Jealousy Jealousy” rounds out the promotional videos for Morning Musume’s 63rd single release. Things look very black and white, although it’s not particularly clear which side is actually which (metaphorically speaking). What I do know is the group makes great use of their anchors: Oda Sakura and Fukumura Mizuki sing with an increasing presence from Nonaka Miki while Ishida Ayumi rightfully anchors the dance team and provides legit skills to the rap interludes (you should also stick around to hear Miki’s English in the rap- always a treat). Perhaps “Jealousy Jealousy” rests on foundations that are more predictable than its counterpart A-side, but man is the song smooth. For those put off by the mortar shells in “Brand New Morning”, “Jealousy Jealousy” feels like coming home to groove laden J-pop butter. “Brand New Morning/Jealousy Jealousy” goes on sale March 8, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Over at Twitter I ran a poll, Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 7 2017 (0219 – 0225)


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 I’m really behind, so everything will be brief. I mean SHORT!

This week we have (a long list of) Promotional videos from:

Morning Musume。17 – Brand New Morning


The lead promotional video for the 63rd Morning Musume release finally climbs the horizon. “BRAND NEW MORNING” looks and feels like a declaration of sorts. The girls wear military inspired red with double-breasted buttons and fringed epaulettes. Fukumura Mizuki leads new girls Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina on a march through the idol warring period Continue reading

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 5 2017 (0205 – 0211)

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:

Tsubaki Factory,
HKT48,
Team Syachihoko,
Fairies,
Faint★Star [1] and [2],
Why@Doll,
J☆Dee’Z,
HR,
Star☆T, and
243 to Yoshizaki Aya

Tsubaki Factory – The Magnificent Camellia

Well, I’ll be darned. Tsubaki Factory release the promotional video for “Urawashi no Camelia”, and it’s right up my proverbial ally. Starting with a a bit of ragtime from the Victrola and drenched in a faux sepia process, our girls party like its 1899. And, when the girls wake up to 2017 they still Charleston their way through the school yard like rebellious Meiji era teens. When the girls mug their way through the school corridors they look like they are having the time of their lives! For my part, I don’t think we get to see the Tsubaki Factory girls having this much fun together nearly enough. For its incredible fun and cute blend of new and old, I’m giving “Urawashi no Camellia” a 244 badge of distinction. You can find “Urawashi no Camellia” on the group’s debut single (linked below) on February 22, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Yes, I’m still over the moon with this song. I cannot wait to get it in my hands and onto my iPod! A refreshing change from the electro-pop that permeates these releases, “Urawashi no Camellia” still manages to sound fresh and youthful even though it mimics the musical styles from over 100 years past. Given their brief history, I don’t think Tsubaki Factory will stay with the retro jams for very long, making this song a jewel in their repertoire. Keep blooming, you magnificent camellia! Continue reading

Christmas Idol Heaven – Young Gangan 2015 No.24


You remember Christmas Idol Heaven last year, right? Well, we got the same thing going on in 2015, with some of the more popular idols in idoldom lending their assistance. Santa’s little helpers indeed!
Let’s get things started!

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Watanabe Mayu – “Deai no Tsuzuki” [PV]

Don’t you dare. I’ve been listening to music too long for you to give me problems about writing about an AKB48 release. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably had an inkling that I take a fancy to Watanabe Mayu. I wouldn’t say I was crushed by her placement in the 2015 Sousenkyo (she placed third), but I did hope she could reclaim her top spot. And, while many are off-put by her “so perfect she’s a cyborg” idol routine, this perfection is a good part of her appeal. Remember: when things look too perfect, the breakdown of this character becomes even more interesting.

The particulars of Watanabe Mayu’s fifth solo single tell a lot about the product. The song “Deai no Tsuzuki” provides the opening theme of the drama “Tatakau! Shoten Girl”, where Mayuyu plays an entitled yet well-meaning bookstore employee caught up in the in-store dramas of her workplace. If you happen to be a fan of Mayu, you should probably give it a watch.


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2014 Single of the Year!

Do you know what gives me a hard time? End-of-the year lists. For someone like me, who likes and tries to find value in the littlest of things, every decision involves a heart wrenching choice. Regardless, my idol friends on Twitter (you know who you are) provided me with enough motivation to attempt an end of the year list of idol releases. I agreed to this undertaking for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this undertaking provides me the motivation to look and listen at a wide cross-section of idol music. Lots of idol groups have been popping up of late, and without this project I feel like I was missing many groups that I would love.

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