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 Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170115 to 20170121


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: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Kamen Joshi, LinQ, Tokyo Performance Doll (Rewind Exclusive), Happiness, Batten Show Jo Tai (Rewind Exclusive), Appare! Harajuku, Maneki Neko from OS☆U, Spica no Yoru, 243 and Yoshizaki Aya, and Sentimental Wink

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Harajuku Iyahoi

Who ever said that becoming a grown-up meant getting less surreal? Not Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The sound of “Harajuku Iyahoi” features a decidedly more adult sound that the artist’s previous work, especially when contrasted with her iconic debut “Pon Pon Pon“. The autotune brought down to level 7, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu compliments a wistful keyboard melody with rhythms played on the off-beat and a confident vocal take. Visually, “Harajuku Iyahoi” plays like a saccharine-infused Salvador Dali parade in a darkened room. The trees dance, the hat racks march, and the motorized looking glasses keep Kyary within sight lines for the 3:40 duration. As I contemplate the Harajiku lanterns glowing red and blue, the idea of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu forging a career past her teenage “it-girl” status really interests me. If “Harajuku Iyahoi” is any indication, the poster girl for kawaii culture still has much in store for us. Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170108 to 20170114


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.

A huge push of promotional videos were released on this week, so this week’s Rewind is broken up into two installments. This week we have Promotional videos from: PASSPO☆, Niji no Conquistador, Rock a Japonica, RINNE HIP (Rewind+ Exclusive), E Ticket Production feat. Shiina Pikarin (Rewind+ Exclusive), and E Ticket Production feat. Yoshida Rinne (Rewind+ Exclusive)

PASSPO☆ – PlayGround


What kind of monster would feed poor Masui Mio a zombie virus cocktail while she watches her in-flight movie?! Oh, her group mate Naomi would do it. From their forthcoming album “Cinema Trip“, PASSPO☆ does a zombie flick in an airplane. The girls play great undead stewardesses in “PlayGround” while picking up and sending up dance moves from your favorite zombie-themed music video. The dance rock groove proves undeniable, and I found myself impulsively shook. PASSPO☆ is smack in the middle of a bit of a rejuvenation period right now; band PASSPO☆ continues strong and idol PASSPO☆ continue to find new life as the girls are all in the great beyond of “over 20”. Personally, I think “Cinema Trip” is poised to become one of the group’s best albums with an outstanding track list comprising of the their singles since their move to Crown Records. You can buy “Cinema Trip” when it hits record stores on February 15, 2017.

Rewind +

I gotta tell ya, I’ve watched this PV a bunch of times since first reviewing it. Owing partly to my love of zombie movies, partly to my adoration of Masui Mio, and partly to the screwball concept of it all, “PlayGround” is easily the most entertaining PV on this list. The chorus is every bit the monster in the lyrics. Again maybe it’s just me, but there’s something kinda sexy going on here. Don’t tell my mom I said that.
Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170101 to 20170107


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.

A huge push of promotional videos were released on this week, so this week’s Rewind is broken up into two installments. In this second installment we have Promotional videos from: Yumemiru Adolescence 1 2 (Rewind+ Exclusive), Kamen Joshi, and Honey Spice 1 2

Yumemiru Adolescence – Koi no Effect Magic

Rewind+

I need to start out by pointing out the shame of the region block for Yumemiru Adolescence. YumeAdo, in my opinion of course, have consistently produced some of the best idol releases of the last year-and-a-half. “Koi no Effect Magic” continues the trend with a really fun song. The girls deliver an enthusiastic chorus that I find very catchy. But then, the promotional video quickly turns from concept to behind the scenes footage. This sudden switch has the effect of making it seem as though the budget ran out for “Koi no Effect magic”. Maybe this was always the nature of the production: this version is labeled “YouTube Version”. I just know that for the shots on the set pieces, the camera looks great and the girls look even better. Although the transition mars the production a bit, I would be irresponsible if I didn’t say it, “Koi no Effect Magic” is a great song that will definitely be in my year-end rewind should I ever get one off the ground.

Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161225 to 20161231 (Part 1)


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.

A huge push of promotional videos were released on this week, so this week’s Rewind is broken up into two installments. In this first installment we have Promotional videos from: GEM, EbiNegi, You’ll Melt More, Rev.from DVL, BRATS, Kamiyado, and Senanan.

As I struggle to get caught up, unfortunately I won’t be writing any Rewind+ this week. Sorry if you were looking forward to my forgetful look backwards.

GEM – Sugar Baby

GEM start their 2017 with some solid pop music and a keyboard sounds that would make The Cars feel proud. “Sugar Baby” is a schoolyard high school gym fantasy with the girls doing their best both in the class and out at the big dance. Where their previous single “Spotlight” was electric bulbs and mirrored introspection, “Sugar Baby” gets the party started with balloon arches and pom poms. And, while the song doesn’t offer much more than a single riff, that riff is played to perfection and will be with you for days and days. Fun and energetic, “Sugar Baby” begs repeat listens.

Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161218 to 20161224


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: Tentenko, Mako x Hitomi, Tsuri Bit, Beboga, Questy, MIKA♡MISA, Seno Sister, and every♥ing! Unfortunately because I’m on a bit of a vacation, I won’t be adding any Review+ … I’m so sorry if this is your favorite part of my weekly articles.

BUT, as a new year’s resolution, I am going to add a poll in this and subsequent weeks! Now you can vote for your favorite promotional videos every week with no need to justify your choices!


Tentenko – Kuruma

“Kuruma”, the lead track from Tentenko’s latest release “Kogyo Seihin” gets a promotional video, and boy is it a doozy. The song underneath all the electro punk groove is clearly pop, you just need to excavate the melodies from the harsh machine gun rattles. The melody plays like the sing-song we’ve heard from much of Tentenko’s previoius pop releases. I think the visual language of the promotional video is probably the real story here. It’s clear we are attending a funeral: black clothes and a well-furnished sedan drive that point home. But, who or what is being buried? We are shown lots of fruit including a banana suggestively split longitudinally, raw crystals spin on platters, glass breaks and reforms, and a gun is produced from a sensual stocking. In one particularly gorgeous shot, milk and tea are poured together into a tea cup. Man, one could probably spend all day trying to decode this one. Although I have my personal opinions, I won’t deprive you of the fun of unearthing this video yourself.

Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161211 to 20161217


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: E-Girls, Flower (Rewind Exclusive), Tentenko, Moso Calibration (Rewind Exclusive), Niji no Conquistador, Maison Book Girl, Gang Parade, Little Glee Monster (Rewind Exclusive), Necronomidol, SiAM & POPTUNE, Rosario+Cross, and Nazo no Pulupulu ga Kiteru.

__________________________________________________________________________________

E-Girls – All Day Long Lady

E-Girls take their game to the workplace in their new promotional video, “All Day Long”. Conceptually, the PV seems to take the girls from morning to night on a “typical” work day- all day long lady. The office place is transformed into a technicolor fantasy and the set plays backdrop to some workplace inspired choreography and OL outfits. Part of what I enjoy with these E-Girls PVs is the expansiveness of the sets they need to use for such a large group. Combine the sets, the choreography, and the costuming and you’ve got yourself a musical! Right as this Short Version ends, a really sharp transition transports us to a Harajuku Time Bomb Fashion show for a non-sequitur fantasy sequence; and, I won’t ask what your personal fantasy sequence looks like. You can find “All Day Long Lady” on the expansive double-CD release, “E.G. Crazy” on sale starting on January 18, 2017

Review+

You know, I just love the spectacle of the entirety of E-Girls dancing Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161204 to 20161210


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 Negicco, Especia, Yukeushirezu Tsurezure, Yanakiku, Afilia Saga, Fudanjuku, miyu, dela, and Kamiyado!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Negicco – Ai, Kamashitai no


It always seems to happen: I have my rankings set for the year and then Negicco blows it up with a great release right at the end. This year Negicco release “Ai, Kamashitai no”, which sees the girls treading on glorious analog instrumentation. As you might expect, the song is a piece of pop candy that sounds part Motown and part Zombies put through a Shibuya-by-way-of-Niigata filter, if that makes sense. The promotional video puts Kaede, Nao☆, and Megu in dual parts as movie theater snack shack ladies and kung fu action movie stars. When the penlights and the frilly dresses come out, you’ll know we’ve landed back in idol-town, JP (or, wherever you are). “Ai, Kamashitai no” is a lot of fun which you can buy into on December 12, 2016.

Rewind +

Really, why does Negicco seem to wait until December to release a gem like this? Knowing my penchant for throwback Japan sounds, you should probably figure that this will make my list of favorites of 2016. I don’t necessarily think a product this infused with Showa feels will have broad appeal, and this goes a bit against the whole concept of idols. Then again, that conception of idols is probably a bit old-fashioned, too.


Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161127 to 20161203


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 Dempagumi.inc, SUPER☆GiRLS (Rewind Exclusive), Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku (Rewind Exclusive), Shinozaki Ai (Rewind Exclusive), predia, Moso Calibration (Rewind Exclusive), Especia, X21, dela (Rewind Exclusive), Shounen ga Milk, and Summer Rocket (Rewind Exclusive).

Dempagumi.inc – WWDBEST

Do you hear that? It’s the ghost of Dempagumi.inc’s greatest hits bubbling to the surface for their latest promotional video, “WWDBEST”. You will hear the familiar musical catch phrases for much of the group’s single discography throughout the PV. Also, your eyes are treated to a bit of a mish mosh of he group’s video discography. Just like it sounds on paper, “WWDBEST” is a glorious mess. While that doesn’t sound like much of a compliment, that descriptor I think accurately describes much of what transpired over the last 8 years with Dempagumi.inc. Like it or leave it, love it or loathe it, you can’t deny Dempagumi.inc’s presence in an idol world that’s grown increasingly eccentric. You will find “WWDBEST” on Dempagumi.inc’s 3CD “best of” set, “WWDBEST ~Dempa Ryoko!~” on sale December 21, 2016.

Rewind +
To answer your main question: this is a clever idea, but Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind 20161120 to 20161126


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 Maplez, Tacoyaki Rainbow, Yumemiru Adolescence (REWIND EXCLUSIVE!), Oomori Seiko feat. Namahamu to Yakiudon, You’ll Melt More! , Rock a Japonica, Kobushi Factory, Tokyo Girls’ Style, and Pax Puella.


Maplez – Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid


Slated for a November 29, 2016 release, the seventh single from the newly christened Maplez’s (a.k.a. the idol group formerly known as Hiroshima Maple★S) 7th release receives a promotional video filled with cheer. Of course, I mean this literally since “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” shoots the girls’ dance performance using the pompoms like they were the Laker Girls. OK, that analogy is a bit of a stretch. The music is top notch, of course, with guitars crashing against Moog keyboards. Hopefully the name change will bring a national and international audience with it.

Rewind +
This one didn’t grow on me as much as I thought it would. I really like the keyboard sounds, but apart from that I’m not particularly enamored with the song. Perhaps the chorus isn’t catchy enough for me, or maybe there isn’t a member I could latch onto, or maybe the cheer motif doesn’t grab me as much as it might. Whatever the reason, Maplez “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” is just ‘fair’ in my book.

Continue reading