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

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.

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Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161225 to 20161231 (Part 2)


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: NERFY GUINER BIEBER, Wa-Suta, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da, Party Rockets GT, Pink Babies, Rosario Cross, and tipToe. (1) and (2).

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.

NERFY GUINER BIEBER – Shampoo & Conditioner


The Cheeky Parade subunit(?) unleash their latest video “Shampoo & Conditioner”, whether you want it or not. Actually, I don’t see how you wouldn’t want this! “Shampoo & Conditioner” offers you nothing but fun times, strange choreography, and stranger video graphics. It’s not the next single from Cheeky Parade, so it gets a little bit of latitude which is fully exploited in this strange, bathtub strewn, bubble floating, boombox wielding piece of nonsensical fun. Where the hell is my shampoo? 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

iDOL Street Carnival 2016 ~RE:Я|LOAD~

I marked June 25 on my calender months ago for some very good reasons. That was the date of iDOL Street’s “iDOL Street Carnival 2016 6th Anniversary ~RE:Я|LOAD~”, which would be a day of tremendous change for the AVEX backed idol conglomerate. Five girls would be leaving on this day, and fans were promised a shuffle of the iDOL Street units. Nobody knew what this meant: maybe new girls, or maybe girls switched from group to group, or maybe both would happen.

Five different girls left iDOL Street as I watched the events late at night (or early in the morning) this past Saturday on the NicoNico Live stream. In particular, my much loved Suzuki Mariya from Cheeky Parade took her hiatus for further study in Los Angeles along with group mate Yamamoto Marin and GEM’s Takeda Maaya. SUPER☆GiRLS’s Arai Reira and Katsuta Rino left the idol life for good on this morning.

The night began with performances from all of iDOL Street groups. For this first part of the Street Carnival, the groups performed with the lineups to which I learned and grown accustomed. The iDOL Street Students, The World Standard, GEM, Cheeky Parade, and SUPER☆GiRLS took the stage in turn. The final three groups (GEM, ChikiPa, and SG) delivered particularly emotional performances: these few songs were their last performances with their current lineups.

The World Standard

GEM


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SUPER ☆ GiRLS Live Tour 2016 ~ SUPER ★ CASTLE [tweets]

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Suzuki Mariya in TokyoIdol.net


Through tweets and downright confession, I reveal my favorite Cheeky Parade member as Suzuki Mariya. Imagine how delighted I was to discover a Mariya photo feature in Tokyo Idol http://www.tokyoidol.net/?p=12988 . This is probably one of the largest sets of photos I’ve seen for an idol at an online resource, so be warned. There’s a lot of Mariya here! Hopefully her youthful spirit come through in this set.

(In a related note: why do my favorites always get styled with a hat?)
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Cheeky Parade “Chekera” [PV]


I admit it (again). I’ve left my series on Cheeky Parade promotional videos hang without any progress for too long now. Well, I’m sure you know I’m not exactly getting paid for my thoughts here- so plans change, things stay fluid, and ideas may occasionally get abandoned. Well, I’m not abandoning this series!

Cheeky Parade have recently been rocked by the announcement of two hiatus members. Both Yamamoto Marin and Suzuki Mariya will take a two-year absence from the group to study abroad and hone their craft. I’m skeptical about their plans to return, but I can only take their word at face value at this point.


Back in 2013, things were looking up for Cheeky Parade Continue reading

Cheeky Parade – “Mugendai Shoujo ∀”

This is a second reminder: you can see Cheeky Parade live in the LA Area this weekend October 16-18. Details here, tickets here. This is the (not so) hidden agenda for all of these Cheeky Parade articles in the past few weeks. Real talk: we’re not going to get many idol events outside of Japan, let alone the Los Angeles area. $15 for an idol event is worth a look if you know nothing about Cheeky Parade or are even lukewarm on Cheeky Parade. I hope I see you there.


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Cheeky Parade – “C.P.U!?” [PV]

I think I should start out with a reminder: you can see Cheeky Parade live in the LA Area this weekend October 16-18. Details here, tickets here. Real talk: we’re not going to get many idol events outside of Japan, let alone the Los Angeles area. $15 for an idol event is worth a look if you know nothing about Cheeky Parade or are even lukewarm on Cheeky Parade. I hope I see you there.

Let’s take a good look at the second release from Cheeky Parade, “C.P.U!?”. Oldsters like me recognize CPU as “Central Processing Unit”, but in the case of the Cheeky, they mean “Cheeky Parade Understand!?”. The hyperactive song fills itself with guitars, big beats, and retro-gaming sounds. The girls chip in with vocals that flit from member to member in a way reminiscent of Momoiro Clover. In fact, the wackiness of the whole thing once gave the (incorrect) impression of Cheeky Parade as a bit of a MomoClo knock-off brand.

Running, jumping
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