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

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170122 to 20170128


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 ’17, Country Girls, Tsubaki Factory, Houkago Princess, 2o Love to Sweet Bullet, FES☆TIVE, Ohara Sakurako (Rewind Exclusive!), PREDIANNA, Ogon Jidai, Yes! Happy, and Sugar & Solt

Morning Musume ’17 – Morning Miso Soup



The first video from Morning Musume ’17 comes in the form of a prootional tie-in with Marukome Miso. “Morning Miso Shiru” is a remake of the group’s 1998 single, “Morning Coffee” re purposed for this 2017 application. The song also marks the debut PV for the new 13th generation: Kaga Kaede and Yokoyama Reina. Things get cozy for the girls as we see them camping in the most glamorous fashion. Decked in fuzzy sweaters and caps, the girls sing along at the campfire, fire up the sparklers, and engage in late night pillow warfare. Of course there’s plenty of Morning Miso Soup to go around. In the first time in quite a while, the Morning Musume seem to be having a lot of fun just being girls in a promotional video, which makes “Morning Miso Shiru” a very refreshing change of pace for the flagship Hello! Project group.

Rewind+

I don’t want to say that Morning Musume ’17 can do no wrong, but really Continue reading

Hello! Project Power Rankings February 2017



Hello everybody, guest contributor TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings. I’ll thank you very kindly for indulging me in my annual vacation, which explains the lack of H!P Power Rankings in January. Hawaii was wonderfully restorative, thank you for asking.

January always puts the girls of Hello! Project through the wringer of the company-wide Winter Concerts. This year brought two different productions: ~Crystal Clear~ and ~Kaleidoscope~. As for comings and goings, one group was suspiciously absent from the annual concerts: a prelude to the future of Hello! Project. Along those same lines, a couple of familiar faces announced their hiatus from the projects- both for health reasons. Of course, we will get to those absences in due course.

In concert news, Buono! will get a last hurrah after all! Tsugunaga Momoko, Natsuyaki Miyabi, and Suzuki Airi make a date with Yokohama Arena on May 22, 2017. No details about the performance have been made public, so you’ll have to wait for more info. For now, you can just mark your calendars.

In other news, Michishige Sayumi finally unveiled some plans for 2017. “SAYUMINGLANDOLL ~Saisei~” will run for 17 performances for M-Line Club members from March 19 through April 2. As yet there are no indications as to what will actually comprise these performances. Also, as a member of M-Line, I probably will not be reporting Sayumi’s latest news in this column after this month. Please follow her blog or Up Front Promotion to stay up-to-date.

And with that,
Rankings come on!

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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.
Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20170101 to 20170107


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: Yumemiru Adolescence 1 2 (Rewind+ Exclusive), Kamen Joshi, and Honey Spice 1 2

Yumemiru Adolescence – Koi no Effect Magic

Rewind+

I need to start out by pointing out the shame of the region block for Yumemiru Adolescence. YumeAdo, in my opinion of course, have consistently produced some of the best idol releases of the last year-and-a-half. “Koi no Effect Magic” continues the trend with a really fun song. The girls deliver an enthusiastic chorus that I find very catchy. But then, the promotional video quickly turns from concept to behind the scenes footage. This sudden switch has the effect of making it seem as though the budget ran out for “Koi no Effect magic”. Maybe this was always the nature of the production: this version is labeled “YouTube Version”. I just know that for the shots on the set pieces, the camera looks great and the girls look even better. Although the transition mars the production a bit, I would be irresponsible if I didn’t say it, “Koi no Effect Magic” is a great song that will definitely be in my year-end rewind should I ever get one off the ground.

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.

Continue reading

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 – 20161218 to 20161224


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: Tentenko, Mako x Hitomi, Tsuri Bit, Beboga, Questy, MIKA♡MISA, Seno Sister, and every♥ing! Unfortunately because I’m on a bit of a vacation, I won’t be adding any Review+ … I’m so sorry if this is your favorite part of my weekly articles.

BUT, as a new year’s resolution, I am going to add a poll in this and subsequent weeks! Now you can vote for your favorite promotional videos every week with no need to justify your choices!


Tentenko – Kuruma

“Kuruma”, the lead track from Tentenko’s latest release “Kogyo Seihin” gets a promotional video, and boy is it a doozy. The song underneath all the electro punk groove is clearly pop, you just need to excavate the melodies from the harsh machine gun rattles. The melody plays like the sing-song we’ve heard from much of Tentenko’s previoius pop releases. I think the visual language of the promotional video is probably the real story here. It’s clear we are attending a funeral: black clothes and a well-furnished sedan drive that point home. But, who or what is being buried? We are shown lots of fruit including a banana suggestively split longitudinally, raw crystals spin on platters, glass breaks and reforms, and a gun is produced from a sensual stocking. In one particularly gorgeous shot, milk and tea are poured together into a tea cup. Man, one could probably spend all day trying to decode this one. Although I have my personal opinions, I won’t deprive you of the fun of unearthing this video yourself.

Continue reading

Be Kind, (Promotional Video) Rewind – 20161211 to 20161217


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: E-Girls, Flower (Rewind Exclusive), Tentenko, Moso Calibration (Rewind Exclusive), Niji no Conquistador, Maison Book Girl, Gang Parade, Little Glee Monster (Rewind Exclusive), Necronomidol, SiAM & POPTUNE, Rosario+Cross, and Nazo no Pulupulu ga Kiteru.

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E-Girls – All Day Long Lady

E-Girls take their game to the workplace in their new promotional video, “All Day Long”. Conceptually, the PV seems to take the girls from morning to night on a “typical” work day- all day long lady. The office place is transformed into a technicolor fantasy and the set plays backdrop to some workplace inspired choreography and OL outfits. Part of what I enjoy with these E-Girls PVs is the expansiveness of the sets they need to use for such a large group. Combine the sets, the choreography, and the costuming and you’ve got yourself a musical! Right as this Short Version ends, a really sharp transition transports us to a Harajuku Time Bomb Fashion show for a non-sequitur fantasy sequence; and, I won’t ask what your personal fantasy sequence looks like. You can find “All Day Long Lady” on the expansive double-CD release, “E.G. Crazy” on sale starting on January 18, 2017

Review+

You know, I just love the spectacle of the entirety of E-Girls dancing Continue reading