Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 23 2017 (0611-0617)


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 come back with a vengeance with Promotional videos from:

ANGERME – Meg the Little Witch

To round out the group’s 23rd single release, ANGERME present their contribution to Aidorusai 2017 ~Idol Matsuri~, “Meg the Little Witch”. The opening theme to the 1974 anime of the same name, “Majokko Megu-chan” preserves much of the verve of the Showa-era arrangement while simultaneously adding some surf rock guitars that sound right at home (see 1974 opening). ANGERME plays up the budding sexuality inherent in magical girl anime with some short shorts, sly looks, and letting the youngest member, Kasahara Momona, sing that line … you’ll know the one. For my 2¢, I appreciate a bit of levity on a single that seems incredibly sober for the young group of girls. ANGERME’s “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai / Namida Iro no Ketsui / Majokko Megu-chan” hits the record store racks on June 21, 2017.

ANGERME – I don’t need anything but love


Violins over an electro beat seems to be a staple sound for ANGERME, as evidenced by their new song “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai”. The group uses a stately European-style manor for the setting, which appropriately fits the sounds. Keeping with the theme, a quick waltz-time pre-chorus breaks up the 4/4 beats, and I can almost see ballgowns twirling. The washes of pink lights over pink clothes make the themes of love and distance visible, while physical distance between the members on the fabulously Baroque love seat give flesh and blood the that same theme. “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai / Namida Iro no Ketsui / Majokko Megu-chan” goes on sale June 21, 2017. Save those tears.

Limited A

Limited A
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Limited B

Limited B
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Limited C

Limited C
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Regular A

Regular A
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Regular B

Regular B
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Regular C

Regular C
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

~theNumber244~

SP Edition

SP Edition
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

ANGERME Official Links
Web Site | Blog 1 2 3 | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes

BiSH – GiANT KiLLERS

You can call “GiANT KiLLERS” a promotional video if you want, but I like to think the new BiSH video as a manifesto (MANiFESTO?). Locked up in the attic in pretty white dresses, eyes open yet not really seeing, isn’t this how you see idols stuck in the traditional idol world? Well, BiSH have had enough. They open their eyes, take the weapons in their hands, and dominate or destroy the entire system. It seems nothing is worth saving. Their oppressors enforce the system under the guise of love, but it’s not really the type of love that BiSH wants. Destroy the system and burn down the house; this is how change comes about. KiLL the GiANT.

Buy BiSH’s “GiANT KiLLERS“!

TypeA

AL+AL+Blu Ray Disc
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeB

AL + DVD
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

 

TypeB

AL + AL
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

BiSH Official Links
Web Site | Line | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes


Yurumerumo! (You’ll Melt More) – Sukiyaki (O-EAST Live Version)

You might remember “Sukiyaki” from Yurumerumo!’s 2014 release “Electric Sukiyaki Girls” as a synthy track over grilled meats. For the live version in 2017, the song’s arrangement has been mostly transplanted to guitar work, and electronic blips are replaced with palm-muted rhythms which creates a real mood of tension and anticipation. The chorus remains an joyous, emotional outburst- like the silky meat texture hitting your palette. “Sukiyaki” can be found on the live DVD “Kodoku to Gyakushuu ~Te Henda! Teihenda ~ Tour at TSUTAYA O-EAST” released on June 28, 2017.


Buy Yurumerumo!’s “Kodoku to Gyakushuu ~Te Henda! Teihenda ~ Tour at TSUTAYA O-EAST [DVD]”!
~theNumber244~
Buy Yurumerumo!’s “Electric Sukiyaki Girls”!
~theNumber244~

You’ll Melt More! Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes

CY8ER – Kakushemu

The third CY8ER single sees the group explode from six members to their current six-piece lineup. More lively than their previous release “Te to Te“, “Kakushemu” sees the group around the Lazy Susan for an upbeat meal. The girls perform and eat in the inner sanctum to the jumping rhythms from Yunomi, and solo close-up shots present the lineup immersed in light. Especially if you found “Te to Te” too dreamy for your taste, you should get a good look at “Kakushemu”. CY8ER’s third single goes on sale on June 28, 2017.


Buy CY8ER’s “Kakusemu“!
~theNumber244~
TypeA

Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

CY8ER Official Links
Web Site | SoundCloud | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes


Maneki Kecak – Dodemo Iiya

Starting with a ballad piano, Maneki Kecak quickly pick up the pace for their new single “Doudemo Iiya”. The story through the PV shows the four girls pursuing their artistic dreams. Nakagawa Miyuu, Miyauchi Rin, and Matsushita Reona passionately work the theater while Fujikawa Chiai busks for a dollar on the street corner. Their paths meet, and it’s up to us to finish the story. “Dodemo Iiya” follows a great musical path with some left turns that make it the most uplifting thing I’ve heard today. The chorus flows with beautifully lyrical lines powered with more than enough talent to see them through. Maneki Kecak’s “Dodemo Iiya / Arikitari na Kotoba de” hits record store shelves on June 28, 2017.

Buy Maneki Kecak’s “Dodemo Iiya / Arikitari na Kotoba de“!

TypeA

Nakagawa Miyuu Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeB

Fujikawa Chiai Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeC

Fujisaki Mayuka Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeD

Miyauchi Rin Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeE

Matsushita Reona Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeF

Regular Version
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Maneki Kecak Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes


Sakura No Yume。 – Dream☆Road

The limited time group for @JAM EXPO 2017 is Sakura No Yume. The trio of Ando Sakura from Tsuri Bit, Ichinose Mika from Kamiyado, and Abe Yumeri from SUPER☆GiRLS absolutely shine in this upbeat clip. Wearing their pure whites, we see the girls onstage performing, backstage in photoshoots, and recording their song. Sakura No Yume。 is a limited time group that lasts only from @JAM 2017 to @JAM EXPO 2017- roughly the summertime of 2017. Sakura, Mika, and Yumeri look great together, sound great together, and seem to have some amount of chemistry, so I’ll be a bit sad when the group wraps up their activities in late August. But, then again we’ll have another great @JAM EXPO to end it all, so we’re all the better for that. With a lineup that featured 165 acts last year, @JAM EXPO should be on everybody’s radar. Get yourself ready by following the links below.

@JAM Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube


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Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 22 2017 (0604-0610)


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 come back with a vengeance with Promotional videos from:

ANGERME- Tear-Colored Decision


It’s difficult to watch “Namida iro no Ketsui” without thinking of ANGERME’s member on hiatus, Aikawa Maho. Reading the lyrics is like a love letter to the troubled young 3rd generation member. Concentrating on the PV at hand, I feel hard-pressed to find a production as gorgeous as “Tear-Colored Decision”. With color pops courtesy of a brilliantly chosen location and great costuming, ANGERME present a softer side with ballet poses and flowing skirts. Maybe the triple center of Murota Mizuki, Sasaki Rikako, and Kamikokuryo Moe is a look at the future of the group, or maybe its a clear signal of the present of the group. Given my feelings on all three of those girls, they’re making a good decision. “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai / Namida Iro no Ketsui / Majokko Megu-chan” goes on sale June 21, 2017. Save those tears.
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Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 21 2017 (0528-0603)


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 come back with a vengeance with Promotional videos from:

Kobushi Factory – Sha la la! we can do this

From the first frames of the new Kobushi Factory, you can tell how “Sha la la! Yareru Hazu sa” will be themed. September 2 is Fujii Rio’s last date with the group, and this promotional video somewhat fictionalizes how those last few days will look. There are no teary goodbyes; instead there’s work, work, work! As the Factory girls plan their live from rehearsals to costumes to choreography, it’s clear that the drive of the group is the reward for Rio’s years in the Projects. I suspect that Rio wants to be remembered for her part of that brilliant rise of Kobushi Factory more than any individual accolades. This just seems to be the Kobushi way. Say goodbye to Rio when “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa / Ee ja nai ka Ninja nai ka” is released on June 14, 2017.

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Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 20 2017 (0521-0527)


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 come back with a vengeance with Promotional videos from:

Band Ja Naimon! – METAMORISER

In this “new” promotional video alert, we have the a-side to Band Janaimon’s latest single, “METAMORISER”. With the new single, you get the band arrangement, you get peppy melodies, you get fun dances, and you get Band Janaimon! in some great color-keyed traditional inspired costumes. The PV builds up from outdoor shots of the group doing their thing in a field, to heart-shaped sparklers, and to the inevitable explosion. “METAMORISER” went on sale on May 17, and you can get your own copy by following the links below.

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The ℃-ute PV retrospective #12 FINAL EDITION

In a matter of hours, ℃-ute is going to disband. Thankfully, the group gifted us with one last memorable single. I fully expect at least one of the songs here in this final edition of the ℃-ute PV retrospective to become part of the Hello! Project book of legendary songs. And, what a long trip it’s been for the group! They started as the “also-ran” girls to Berryz Koubou, shone with early promise and rewards, fell into hard times and line-up changes, and finally ascended to the top of Hello! Project and the idol world. In their final months, the group was given the option to continue as a non-idol group outside of Hello! Project. The girls chose to keep ℃-ute as a group belonging only to Hello! Project. This is how strong the H!P love burns inside these girls.

To Tomorrow


If ℃-ute are going to go, then I want it to be a sunrise more than a sunset. I think this is what we get with “To Tomorrow”. Seeing the girls on a hilltop in their white dresses, surrounded by the elements and bathed in the morning sun seems like the best way to go. Famously, this ℃-ute PV is intercut with dance shots of the group with leaders and subleaders of every current group as well as the latest and last crop of Kenshuusei trainees to tour with the group. I loved this idea: ℃-ute didn’t exist in a vacuum; they shaped and influecned Hello! Project as much as they were shaped by the forces within the Projects. “To Tomorrow” refers to not only the morning after for the girls of ℃-ute , but also the morning of their legacy within Hello! Project.
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The ℃-ute PV retrospective #11

Can you believe we’re almost done here? In this penultimate installment, ℃-ute deliver to us an absolutely classic- artistic, layered, and well-executed. Like “Summer Wind” from yesterday, I’ll put this song in a vault containing all my favorites and bury it for some intrepid intergalactic explorer to find after man’s eventual nuclear winter. Too dark? OK, well, that song is …

Mugen Climax


Before starting here, you should know that I am a huge fanboy of Oomori Seiko, the composer and songwriter for “Mugen Climax”. In fact, there is nothing about this song and promotional video that I find disagreeable. The costumes, those military inspired backs and rag dresses appear appropriately surreal. Then the choreography! The girls get plenty of opportunity for individual skills and solo appeal, while the group choreography fills itself with ripple upon ripple. The old European elegance of the set feels dreamlike to me living in sunny California- familiar, yet foreign. Put this one on the short list of idol classics. It’s absolutely brilliant! Continue reading

The ℃-ute PV retrospective #10

Before the ℃-ute says its proper goodbyes, they released this look at where things might have gone if they chose to stay in Up FRONT as a non-idol act. We know from the girls that this option was on the table for them, so it’s likely that the tracks on today’s installment were a Starting with a notable album track from the FANTASTIC “℃maj9” album, we get the A-sides from the group’s 29th single today. ℃-ute get a bit experimental with this release, and the composers show their roots off with some send ups to the American music scenes of yesteryear. Also included is an absolutely sparkling production of Tsunku song for the mature set of ears.

Iron Heart


This album track from “℃maj9” (C Major Ninth) follows along the same lines as “Gamusha LIFE”, which should figure since SHOCK EYE is the man behind the composition and songwriting for both songs. You knew the budget for this promotional video was bound to be sparse given the nature of the release. That said, the song is full of good feelings with lyrics that feel as though ℃-ute are singing about ℃-ute. Even though the audio is not live audio (perhaps a pet peeve for some people), we get a look at a ℃-ute while they are at the top of their game. Energetic and full of smiles and with a minimum of choreography, “Iron Heart” feels like getting closer to the group than many of their showier songs.
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