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.
How is it possible that an beach scene with blue skies, crystal water, and pretty girls became the backdrop of an identity crisis for one of the most promising young idol groups?
I can’t deny that I enjoyed seeing Q’ulle on the beach for the 4:44 duration of the song. “Heartbeat” exists in a world far removed from the dramatic costuming of their first two singles. With the single, the girls don casual summer wear, and short pants and t-shirts rule the day. The blue sky and rolling sea behind the dance formations come straight from a location scout’s wet dream. Really, the scene couldn’t be more ideal for a summer PV featuring pretty girls in skimpy bikinis bouncing around the sand. So, what’s the problem?
I find myself frustrated with this release for a few reasons. Q’ulle never sold me on their credentials as bubbly idols. They are pretty to look at, sure. Their dancer bodies definitely suit the roles of idols in a beach PV. Are we to believe that Q’ulle’s ultimate goal as idols lies somewhere on the sand or frolicking in the waves? What about all that “Mic Check One Two” business? To what degree “Heartbeat” undermines Q’ulle’ss bid for serious consideration remains to be seen. One benefit of being such a young group is that early missteps are easily forgiven. At least they didn’t stoop to the level of bikini idols, right?
After endlessly looping Hello! Project videos all week, I need a change of pace. This gives me a perfect opportunity to write a little about Q’ulle. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me tweeting that Q’ulle is an early favorite for Best New Group 2015. I also got a fair amount of death threats for making Country Girls Uta cry, but that’s another story. As much as I’ve been loving that other new group, Q’ulle came out of nowhere! It’s April 6 as I’m writing this and the group already released two stand out singles- January’s “mic check one two” and March’s “Monster”, have a third single, “Heartbeat” awaiting release in May, and an album, “Q’ & A – Q’ulle and Answer” set for release in June. That’s a superhuman pace- I’d be surprised if they can keep up with themselves!