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.


Buy CY8ER’s “Te to Te“!
~theNumber244~
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Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

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


Rock A Japonica – Dreaming Road

Rock A Japonica’s trip down memory lane comes in the form of “Dreaming Road”. Archival footage of the group as they meet their challenges comprises the majority of what you’ll see in this promotional video. The nostalgia and amusement of watching the group transition through their various single release outfits never wears thin. I also enjoy seeing the recording footage as the girls dress comfortably in sweatshirts and eyeglasses. “Dreaming Road” brings us right up-to-date with the reveal of the “Rock A Japonica 4th Tour, ~Revenge for 1000~”. “Dreaming Road” can be found on the “venue only” single “Tambourine Rin Rin” (Dream Edition). Now that we are all caught up, how about that 4th single?

Rock a Japonica Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | iTunes

Rosario+Cross – Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa

From their January 30, 2017 release, the girls of Rosario+Cross freshly release a promotional video for their coupling track, “Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa”. For those of us in the office game, watching the girls mime out the frustrations of the cubicle set proves a cathartic act. Even better, you can watch the fun choreography of Rosario+Cross in 60 fps, which makes the movements of the girls and their “from behind the screen” mugging much more visually interesting. With all of the face time, I think I got a better feel for the girls through this PV than any of their other works. Musically, I found the song groovy with its live instrumentation and piano heavy arrangement. Of course, “Shichitenhattou no Mukou-gawa” is the b-side from a two-month old single- and that shows itself in other production values.

Buy ROSARIO+CROSS’s “HELLO! Mirai“!

TypeA

TypeA
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

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TypeB
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Rosario+Cross Official Links
Web Site | Line Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Google+ | iTunes

STARMARIE – Hoshi no Tereka

The new STARMARIE is a live shot video of the five girls performing “Hoshi no Tereka”. Everything is dark with the girls from their Stevie Nicks black clothing to the stage lighting in purple and blue. The performance looks great- the girls don’t miss a cue with their choreography. If you’re looking for some bubbly idol music, you won’t find it here! The song’s production is rife with tension and lyricism. You can find “Hoshi no Tereka” as the lead track on the group’s new “FANTASY THEATER” album, due April 4, 2016.


Buy STARMARIE’s “FANTASY THEATER“!
~theNumber244~
TypeA

Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

STARMARIE Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Google+ | iTunes

Towa Tei with Ano (Yurumerumo!) – REM

Towa Tei is probably remembered for his work in Dee-Lite some 20+ years ago. Still at the music, he’s teamed up here with Ano from You’ll Melt More for this groovy atmospheric jam. The bright colors wow, and the near 3-dimensional graphics keep popping. From the sushi bedspread to the winged horses to the liquid metal sharks, “REM” keeps everything surreal and dream-like. Yes, this PV provides an extended session of rapid eye movement sleep that’s dreamy in its visuals and its sounds. For Ano’s part: she sounds lovely barely needing to raise her voice above a whisper. Check out the trumpet solos, and I’ll meet you when you wake up! You can find “REM” on Towa Tei’s “EMO” album released on March 22, 2017.


Buy Towa Tei’s “EMO“!
~theNumber244~
TypeA

Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Towa Tei Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

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

Yanakoto Sotto Mute – Lily

Some groups really mesh well with my non-idol aesthetic. Take Yanakoto Sotto Mute, for example. The live band instrumentation is nice, but the arrangements and musical style really bump them up a notch. The promotional video for Lily, from Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s soon-to-be-released 1st album, makes a case for the biggest contrast of all: life and death. You can see it with the interiors: deathly still with faded whites and weathered paint. You see it with the exteriors: full sun, an ocean heaving with life, and grasses that literally connect existence with the earth. The paradox of floral bouquet, neither fully alive nor fully dead, cuts through every scene like a reminder to choose between a morgue-like existence and a thrashing scream of life. I’m definitely picking up a copy of “BUBBLE” when it’s released on April 5, 2017. Listen to “Lily” and make your own choice.


Buy Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s “Lily”!
~theNumber244~
TypeA

Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube


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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

Notes from the Idol PV Couch– Week 4 2017 (0129 – 0204)


Okay. I’m rebranding a bit. I just don’t want to keep looking at that damn Memorex ad anymore. The concept here is the same, so I hope you still get something new out of reading these little bits of mine. Thanks a bunch!

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:
Country Girls,
Perfume,
Noto Arisa,
Yunomi feat. Toriena,
P.IDL,
RYUTist,
Lyrical Renaissance,
Kimura Tofu Ten (exclusive!),
Maria (exclusive!), and
Yamitsuki Company (exclusive!).

Country Girls – Good Boy Bad Girl

The motorcycle garage fantasy of “Good Boy Bad Girl” got a release today, and it is a ship builder’s dream. The girls pair off and sing to each other much like the guitars duel it out in the instrumentals. The Country Girls embody the titular boy/girl pairing, which means someone needs to play the bad girl girl. While this 50% of the the double A-side doesn’t have the verve of its partner (to me anyways), I do enjoy seeing the group stretch out and try new things. I know someone out there will complain about the incongruous motorcycle garage that isn’t mentioned in the lyrics, but do the visuals really need to match the lyrics exactly? I though we got over that in the 1980s. “Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love” vrooms into stores on February 8, 2017.

Beyond the Couch

Real talk: Continue reading