NOTES FROM THE IDOL PV COUCH– WEEK 16 2017 (0423-0429)


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:

DAOKO – Haikei Goodbye Sayonara

The promotional video of her digital single release, Daoko finds herself entangled with a photographer. “Haikei Goodbye Sayonara” presents itself as an (almost) straightforward pop song with Daoko’s rap turning into singsong. The photography shoot seems to start normally with a detached Daoko sitting for the hairdresser and changing into strapless thing. Just when things turn a bit violent, it becomes clear that things are not exactly as they seem. I’ve always wondered how they managed to get these kinds of photographs, and now I guess I know! Daoko’s digital single “Haikei Goodbye Sayonara” is out now.

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Notes from the Couch: Idol PVs 2017 Week 14 (0409-0415)


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:

Juice=Juice – Jidanda Dance

After a half-year wait, Juice=Juice release the opening promotional video to their ninth single “Jidanda Dance / Feel Kanjiru yo”. Don’t be fooled by the Hello! Project house sound with its synthy leads, retro guitars, and Tsunku-esque interjections: “Jidanda Dance” features lyrics by Kodama Ameko and a BLACC HOLE & NOBB-D composition. The girls sing about the frustrations of mundane tragedies and the need to cut loose, festival style. The variety of shots used in this PV really catch my attention. The director, Inoue Takashi, must have felt free to really explore the shoot location and chose hallways, staircases, and an expansive foyer for the bulk of “Jidanda Dance”‘s footage. For the truly deep Hello Project fan, there’s even a short scene with Kanazawa Tomoko bullying up on Miyamoto Karin and Takagi Sayuki which should give a chuckle. “Jidanda Dance / Feel Kanjiru yo” will dance its way to stores on April 26, 2017.

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Notes from the Couch: Idol PVs 2017 Week 13 (0402-0408)


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:

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Iisuta

In the most improbable of improbable, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s newest single is an Easter song. I’m not sure how much Easter saturation the Japanese market experiences, not do I know what Japan is doing with a “Christian” holiday like Easter. But, here we have it! To be fair, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu only celebrates the fun and hijinks side of the Spring Equinox with eggs galore. The eggs in question are pastoral colored claymation beings that look like they belong in the fictional Kingdom of Borovnia. You’ll find egg carnage, a half shell bubble bath, and the puzzling inclusion of capybara in Kyary’s Easter. Bagpipes and fifes call out an interesting musical blend that plays less like a dance floor and more like a jaunty jig. So everyone: march along with Kyary and try not to be abducted by the sunny side up flying saucers. Yes, that makes sense in the context of the PV. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “Easta” beams down to Earth on April 5, 2017.

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Notes from the Idol PV Couch Week 12 2017 (0326-0401)


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.

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Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 11 2017 (03019 – 0325)


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 – The Curtain Rises


The third and final promotional video from °C-ute’s farewell single broke this morning. “The Curtain Rises” might seem the opposite title for a swan song of a single, but the optimist says that the second act for Yajima Maimi and co. is about to begin. The song is a dance track littered with the hook of a title line and synth leads that call to mind some of the group’s classic songs. I haven’t had time to sort out the steamy backroom that serves as the set for most of “The Curtain Rises”; perhaps the curtain rises on the hidden machinations of the group? The PV features some nifty “Vertigo” style dolly zooms on the girl’s faces. Though there is much to unpack with “The Curtain Rises”, I’m going to leave off here before you’re looking at one of my 2000 word blogs. ℃-ute’s final single will be released on March 29, 2017.
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Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 9 2017 (0305 – 0311)


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 – Morning Misoshiru (Campfire Version)

Say what you want about another version of “Morning Misoshiru”, but I really enjoyed seeing the campfire version. How many times do we get to see the girls act a bit goofy in a release? Not often. The other bonus for this PV is the audio track, which offers the sounds of the girls laughter and occasional wota chants. I’m I sick of it? Not by a long shot!

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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 6 2017 (0212 – 0218)

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:

X21 – Beautiful X

Ahead of their 2nd album, X21 release the promotional video for “Beautiful X”. The PV completely envelopes the girls in a white cyc (that white stage with no corners), where the girls either perform their choreography or mug lovingly for the rotating camera. The sense of perspective slowly fades as the girls move towards and away from the camera’s viewfinder. Eventually, I didn’t know which way was up anymore. “Beautiful X” really shines when the girls are given their solo close-ups. True to the Bishoujo Contest origins of the group, X21 members are all pretty in a way that outpaces most other idol groups. With soft lighting and a gentle breeze, you’re sure to find a girl that suits your fancy.

Beyond the Couch

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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