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

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