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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Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170115 to 20170121


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: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Kamen Joshi, LinQ, Tokyo Performance Doll (Rewind Exclusive), Happiness, Batten Show Jo Tai (Rewind Exclusive), Appare! Harajuku, Maneki Neko from OS☆U, Spica no Yoru, 243 and Yoshizaki Aya, and Sentimental Wink

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Harajuku Iyahoi

Who ever said that becoming a grown-up meant getting less surreal? Not Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The sound of “Harajuku Iyahoi” features a decidedly more adult sound that the artist’s previous work, especially when contrasted with her iconic debut “Pon Pon Pon“. The autotune brought down to level 7, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu compliments a wistful keyboard melody with rhythms played on the off-beat and a confident vocal take. Visually, “Harajuku Iyahoi” plays like a saccharine-infused Salvador Dali parade in a darkened room. The trees dance, the hat racks march, and the motorized looking glasses keep Kyary within sight lines for the 3:40 duration. As I contemplate the Harajiku lanterns glowing red and blue, the idea of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu forging a career past her teenage “it-girl” status really interests me. If “Harajuku Iyahoi” is any indication, the poster girl for kawaii culture still has much in store for us. Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170108 to 20170114


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. This week we have Promotional videos from: PASSPO☆, Niji no Conquistador, Rock a Japonica, RINNE HIP (Rewind+ Exclusive), E Ticket Production feat. Shiina Pikarin (Rewind+ Exclusive), and E Ticket Production feat. Yoshida Rinne (Rewind+ Exclusive)

PASSPO☆ – PlayGround


What kind of monster would feed poor Masui Mio a zombie virus cocktail while she watches her in-flight movie?! Oh, her group mate Naomi would do it. From their forthcoming album “Cinema Trip“, PASSPO☆ does a zombie flick in an airplane. The girls play great undead stewardesses in “PlayGround” while picking up and sending up dance moves from your favorite zombie-themed music video. The dance rock groove proves undeniable, and I found myself impulsively shook. PASSPO☆ is smack in the middle of a bit of a rejuvenation period right now; band PASSPO☆ continues strong and idol PASSPO☆ continue to find new life as the girls are all in the great beyond of “over 20”. Personally, I think “Cinema Trip” is poised to become one of the group’s best albums with an outstanding track list comprising of the their singles since their move to Crown Records. You can buy “Cinema Trip” when it hits record stores on February 15, 2017.

Rewind +

I gotta tell ya, I’ve watched this PV a bunch of times since first reviewing it. Owing partly to my love of zombie movies, partly to my adoration of Masui Mio, and partly to the screwball concept of it all, “PlayGround” is easily the most entertaining PV on this list. The chorus is every bit the monster in the lyrics. Again maybe it’s just me, but there’s something kinda sexy going on here. Don’t tell my mom I said that.
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Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind 20161120 to 20161126


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 Maplez, Tacoyaki Rainbow, Yumemiru Adolescence (REWIND EXCLUSIVE!), Oomori Seiko feat. Namahamu to Yakiudon, You’ll Melt More! , Rock a Japonica, Kobushi Factory, Tokyo Girls’ Style, and Pax Puella.


Maplez – Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid


Slated for a November 29, 2016 release, the seventh single from the newly christened Maplez’s (a.k.a. the idol group formerly known as Hiroshima Maple★S) 7th release receives a promotional video filled with cheer. Of course, I mean this literally since “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” shoots the girls’ dance performance using the pompoms like they were the Laker Girls. OK, that analogy is a bit of a stretch. The music is top notch, of course, with guitars crashing against Moog keyboards. Hopefully the name change will bring a national and international audience with it.

Rewind +
This one didn’t grow on me as much as I thought it would. I really like the keyboard sounds, but apart from that I’m not particularly enamored with the song. Perhaps the chorus isn’t catchy enough for me, or maybe there isn’t a member I could latch onto, or maybe the cheer motif doesn’t grab me as much as it might. Whatever the reason, Maplez “Authentic Invention to Romantic Paranoid” is just ‘fair’ in my book.

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Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161113 to 20161119


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 Morning Musume ’16, P.IDL Nagoya, Happippi, Wakita Monari, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku (REWIND EXCLUSIVE!), DEAR KISS, Yunomi feat. Nicamoq, and Tokyo Girls’ Style


Morning Musume ’16 – Confront with Bare Nakedness


With “Confront with Bare Nakedness”, Morning Musume ’16 play their entire hand for their November 23rd single. The synthy dance number sees the girls in vaguely pink camouflage patterned dresses and short bolero jackets in front of bare, skeletal red structures. Fukumura Mizuki and crew swagger it out with a choreography that involves lots of jacket play and chest pumping. Stick around for the glow paint that shows up roughly 3/4 of the way into the PV!. Morning Musume ’16’s 62nd single, “Sexy Cat no Enzetsu / Mukidashi de Mukiatte / Sou ja nai”, hits stores on November 23, 2016.


Rewind +
You know, “MukiMuki” didn’t really get me until a few listens. The song is relentless, and is only slowed by the b-melody. I tell you, once Eripon starts flipping her jacket over her shoulders, when the glo-paint comes out, and when Haga Akane gets the line of her career, I get behind this one. Behind “Sexy Cat no Enzetsu”, this will be my favorite from the release. Continue reading

Sakura Nao in Hustle Press 2016.02.16

Just between you and me, Sakura Nao, the blue girl from Team Syachihoko, has become my favorite member of the group. Imagine how happy I was to find this set of charming pictures of her! You can see the original post at HustlePress. And wait … there’s another set of Nao just waiting for you!

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Team Syachihoko -“Chèrie!” [PV]


Sometimes, a promotional video needs to do very little to capture my attention. Let’s take Team Syachihoko’s “Cherie” PV for example. The PV consists almost solely of shots of the five girls of Team Syachihoko in and around Harajuku performing their choreography in a range of outfits. There are no trick shots, there is no narrative, and little more variety than Akimoto Honoka, Ito Chiyuri, Sakamoto Haruna, Sakura Nao, and Oguro Yuzuki split screened together.

… and then there’s the QR codes.

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Team Syachihoko “Tensai Bakabon” [PV]

Before I start on Team Syachihoko’s “Tensai Bakabon”, I should mention that I have no particular bloodlust for the group. Nor were any syachihoko harmed in the making of the PV (that I know).

Team Syachihoko, who impressed me greatly with their last release “Shampoo Hat“, (it made my “Top Singles of 2014” list), returned to action with their May 13 release “Tensai Bakabon” (yes, I’m REALLY late to the party on this one). The group finished their week with 25,356 units sold and a solid 4th place ranking in the Weekly Oricon Chart.

The song ties with the movie version of a classic anime of the same name- you can see the trailer here. Maybe now is a good time to listen to the original version of the opening theme from 1971 (the first opening theme goes until 3:25, FYI).


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