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

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.

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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

2014 Single of the Year!

Do you know what gives me a hard time? End-of-the year lists. For someone like me, who likes and tries to find value in the littlest of things, every decision involves a heart wrenching choice. Regardless, my idol friends on Twitter (you know who you are) provided me with enough motivation to attempt an end of the year list of idol releases. I agreed to this undertaking for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this undertaking provides me the motivation to look and listen at a wide cross-section of idol music. Lots of idol groups have been popping up of late, and without this project I feel like I was missing many groups that I would love.

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J-Pop Summit- Tokyo Girls Style [live]

In a year filled with overseas and abroad idol activities, J-Pop Summit emerges as a major event. This year’s festival offered some top tier talent from the Japanese Idol world: Tokyo Girls’ Style, Itano Tomomi, Yanakiku, and Una. Even though Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Tanaka Reina’s LoVendoR topped the bill last year, I passed on attending the festival (which I regret). As soon as J-Pop Summit announced Tokyo Girls’ Style as a musical guest I knew my attendance was mandatory. Having followed the group since their debut single “Kirari“, I consider the group of girls to be among the most talented idol acts around. (My reviews of the last five singles- Jujika, Partition Love, Chiisana Kiseki, Get the Star, and Unmei are linked at the end of of this article). San Francisco is only 7 hours from Los Angeles by car, and I am currently on vacation. Why not make a grand adventure?

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Tokyo Girls’ Style “Jujika” [PV]

When it comes to visual imagery, there isn’t anything more disturbing than the sight of girls in white dresses chained by black shackles. In this case, a Catholic church serves to imprison the members of Tokyo Girls’ Style. Not far in the background of the ensnared girls waits an imposing figure in black wearing a black Minotaur mask. Tokyo Girls’ Style seep these creepy images into our skulls within the first seconds of their 16th single “Jujika”. While the rest of the PV serves up the same dark imagery, the song returns the girls to a familiar sound.

Don’t pet that. It’s CREEPY.

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Tokyo Girls’ Style – “Partition Love” [PV]

Continuing my look at Tokyo Girls’ Style is “Partition Love”. This single actually shook me up a bit and told me to start paying attention to the group again. Hopefully by now, it’s obvious that I’m trying to get all of these singles reviewed by the time Tokyo Girls’ Style perform at J Pop Summit in San Francisco this weekend. If you are in the area, come and see them! It will be free, and they are guaranteed to be great!

Let’s start by looking at the space between them, like there was a … partition?

Koide Yusuke from the band Base Ball Bear wrote and composed “Partition Love”. Koide does not stray too far from the musical style of the group, nor does he forsake the musical motif heard in many of Tokyo Girls’ Style’s releases. In a nicely conceived verse, short one-measure phrases play a strictly regulated rhythm against a palm-muted guitar. The combination of rhythms convincingly mimics the heartbeat and labored words of an infatuated young girl. The composition really comes alive in the chorus where Koide writes wonderfully long melodic lines punctuated with the unsettling “Nee, Sensei” line. It’s a real joy to have a song where the melodies are stretched to their limit. “Partition Love’s” chorus works especially well when contrasted with the terseness verses. I think the song feels like the protracted, hurried ramblings of young love finally composing itself into a rehearsed and lyrical confession.
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Tokyo Girls’ Style – “Chiisana Kiseki” [PV]

Continuing my series on Tokyo Girls’ Style, today we have the November 22, 2013 release “Chiisana Kiseki”. I know what you are thinking: Fall release, this must be dark and brooding. Actually, NOPE. I’m watching and writing about this PV in the summer, and it’s perfect.

“Chiisana Kiseki” makes a good case for simplicity in PVs. Like the previous PV, “Get the Star“, there aren’t any narrative threads, no goofy story (that’ll come later), and no crazy religious symbolism (also later). What we get is a refreshingly simple PV which is nothing more than a couple of dance shots intercut with solo close ups and a sweet group lip shot. From that description, I might as well be writing about a Hello! Project PV. Like most of Tokyo Girls’ Style products, the quality of the work really sets “Chiisana Kiseki” apart from other PVs.

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Tokyo Girls’ Style “Get the Star” [PV]

It’s a real failing of mine.  After following Tokyo Girls’ Style since their beginning I stopped paying them great attention.  Again, this was a mistake.  I’m not proud of this.  To make ammends, I’m spending the next few articles detailing the TGS singles released since my review of “Unmei“.  You won’t see anything too in-depth due to the nature of these articles (a makeup test, and late assignment).   But, you will get a chance to get yourself up to speed with Tokyo Girls’ Style before their live performances at J-Pop Summit 2014 in San Francisco next week, July 19 and 20.

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Beauty Shots

Some very artistic photographs of various idols were recently brought to my attention. These all come from the website Beauty News Tokyo. I don’t know anything about the website other than the pretty models they use! So are you ready?

We start with Super Girls’s Goto Aya. This looks to me like it was ripped from Akira. You know the part with all the stuffed animals?
 photo GotoAyaSuperGirls01_zps938f9265.jpg
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