Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween and Momoiro Clover Z Are a Good Mix

ALL RIGHT FINE. I admit it! I... am reviewing a Momoiro Clover Z PV. Be afraid, readers. Be very afraid.

Believe me, if you had asked me a few months ago "Hey, are you ever gonna review stuff by Momoiro Clover Z?" I would have said "Hell no!" Until now, I have never had the desire to review anything by this idol group even though I know they've received a lot of praise from other bloggers. They've even been getting a lot of recognition in Japan from what I've heard; their last single, Otome Sensou charted for weeks, eventually selling 100,000 copies. I don't know what they're doing now that was different from what they used to be doing to sell so well but I feel like I've been seeing more and more of Momoiro Clover Z in the blogsphere. Sure, it's nowhere near the level of Hello! Project and AKB48 articles I see around the blogsphere but still! It's enough that when I first started blogging and I was trying to figure out which idols I was going to review and write about, I actually considered blogging about Momoiro Clover Z. So why did I skip over them at the time? One of the main reasons was that I didn't want to start out blogging about too many different idols and I wanted my main focuses to be Perfume, AKB48 and Hello! Project. Naturally, the list of idols I review has expanded but I'm still reviewing something by Momoiro Clover Z pretty late into my time as a blogger. Well... the other reason why I haven't reviewed something by MomoClo until now is I don't really like their music. And music is kind of a huge element when it comes to the idols I review. I'm not gonna take a look at an idol group if I can't get into their music and... okay, don't take this the wrong way, but I find a lot of MomoClo's music to be really annoying. The girls in the group have very... energetic voices and listening to them sing is kind of like listening to a bunch of really hyper little girls at a birthday party. Again, I have a lot of respect for MomoClo for their vibrant image and personalities but my god, their music is hard for me to get through.

But on the other hand... I really want to like Momoiro Clover Z.

They're just one of those idol groups that I want to follow. I feel like if I can just get through their music, then MomoClo could be a group that I could really enjoy. After all, their image is right up my alley because of its sheer wackiness and I can commend the effort put into making them stand out from the slew of other idol groups on the market right now. I even like the small size of the group; I've always preferred smaller idol groups and five is a perfect number in my opinion. The only thing that's been hindering me is that they haven't released a song that I could get through... until now. Yes, for the first time, I have found a song by Momoiro Clover Z that I can actually listen to all the way through. And not only that, I like this song! I really like it! Funny thing is I actually wasn't planning on reviewing this song, let alone even listening to it, but because Halloween is so close now and I saw the PV pop up on one of the news sites I follow, I figured I'd take a look at it. At first, I didn't like this song and I found it just as annoying as all the other songs I'd listened to by MomoClo. But then I listened to it again... and again... and again. Two hours of repeat later, this song has grown on me faster than a Chia Pet and is quickly becoming my guilty pleasure of 2012. It's like one of those songs that sounds really dissonant and weird on the first listen but after a few more listens, it all makes sense. The musical arrangement, the vocals, everything about this song fits. And I love how over-the-top everything is, even the vocals! For once, I'm not annoyed by the vocals! I'm actually really digging all the different vocal arrangements mashed into this song along with the different song bits. The opening is awesome and insanely catchy and every song choice made after that works. But for the record, I still don't like the part where they talk in the bridge but I think that's because I just don't like that in any song in general. Other than, that... this song is fucking awesome. The energy is insane, the song is insane but it's the best kind of insane there is.

I don't know if Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo will be enough to get me into Momoiro Clover Z but it's a hell of a good start. Who knows? Maybe more of their music will grow on me! Maybe I just need to give them a proper chance and keep my mind and musical tastes open! I just have to take baby steps when it comes to getting into this group. I wouldn't call myself a fan yet but there's a possibility I might reach that point... But for now, since Halloween is just around the corner, how about we take a look at yet another Halloween-themed idol PV? God, aren't all these Halloween PVs great!? I can't get enough of them!

Nice opening! I always love theatre-esque sets in PVs!

I guess the show of the evening features a young girl being watched ominously by Japan's most bat-shit crazy idol group!

Gosh, if trees grew as quickly as those five, we wouldn't have to worry about losing so many trees...

Okay, this would be a pretty badass entrance but what the hell are they wearing on their heads?

Oh well, they still look pretty badass!

Relax, those trees aren't gonna hurt you! Unless they're the trees from The Evil Dead...

I don't know which member you are, but you're adorable!

And you kinda frighten me! Not sure why...

I love this part in the dance so much! Something about the smallness of the formation is really cool to me!

Oh hey, this girl pretty much has the same reaction to MomoClo that I do!

With our wackiness and tacky wigs we shall TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!

I think if I saw MomoClo approaching me creepily from trees, I'd run the hell away!

Well, at least she can tell all her friends that she was haunted by five J-pop idols wearing weird wigs!

It's the soul-sucking dance move! Seriously, some parts of this dance are absolutely hilarious.

Oh hai, outfit change! They look like modern day Marie Antoinettes...

So I guess there's bitchy!MomoClo that goes around tormenting little kids and sweet!MomoClo who stands around looking sweet!

Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa hold the phone are those light-up dresses?

I don't care how wacky you guys are, Perfume has and always will have the best light-up dresses. End of discussion.

Don't forget: Momoiro Clover Z is judging you

...the hell are they connected to?

Oh, who cares!? LASER BEAMS!!!

So I guess the little girl's cool in MomoClo's eyes now since she got a weird wig and all!

Loving this part of the dance! It's so adorable!

I like to imagine that in this part, they're all sitting in front of a television and watching Madoka or something!

I guess the thing they're all connected to is the root of a tree but it's hard to tell...

And so the PV ends with MomoClo getting attacked by a swarm of bats!

I'm just kidding! MomoClo goes out with an idol pose!

And the little girl is happy because she got her hair back!

And now the trees don't look like evil trees!

And they all lived happily ever after!

Oh guys, don't you just love October? What I'm really loving about this October is the sheer number of Halloween-themed PVs we're getting from idol groups! First Kyarypamyupamyu, then AKB48 and now Momoiro Clover Z! I don't know what's bringing in the sudden influx of Halloween PVs but I'm totally not questioning it! They've been so much fun to watch and screencap including this one! Although I have to admit, this isn't one of the most Halloween-y PVs I've seen even though it is still pretty dark looking. It's more Halloween-y than Tokyo Girls' Style's Bad Flower PV but it's not anywhere near as blatantly Halloween-y as UZA or Fashion Monster. It's kind of in the middle to be honest and I wasn't really expecting that from Momoiro Clover Z. What I've seen of past MomoClo PVs is that they usually pick some kind of theme ranging from women of war to space pirates and then go with it in the most over-the-top and ridiculous way possible. I feel really strange saying this, but compared to some of the other MomoClo PVs I've seen, Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo is kind of toned down. Then again, you have to look at that on a scale of wackiness from Momoiro Clover Z; toned down for them is like daring for Super Girls. I'm just saying I feel like this PV wasn't as weird as I thought it would be and while that's not a bad thing, I do feel like I wouldn't have minded if the PV was slightly a little more out there. That's the nice thing about doing a Halloween-themed PV; the holiday is out there enough already that an artist can really play with how far they want to go since there pretty much aren't many boundaries. There could have been so many crazy directions this PV could have gone and while some of them were taken, others were neglected. Like I really liked the parts where the girls of MomoClo were scaring the little girl; I would have loved to see more of that! Even better, they could have had MomoClo as ghosts haunting the little girl as she journeys through a forest! That would have been really cool and that concept was kind of played with but they could have gone farther with it.

Something else I would have liked was a little further explanation on MomoClo's connection to the trees the little girl planted. I think that maybe they were personifications of the trees but why are the trees attacking the little girl? She gave them life! She created them- oh wait, is this related to Frankenstein in any way? Person gives life to object and said object retaliates... that sounds pretty Frankenstein-y to me. And the weird wigs the girls wear do look a lot like something I'd see on the bride of Frankenstein. Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws! The Frankenstein theory is a little too far-fetched even for me. Nevertheless, I still do enjoy this PV a lot and it still has a lot of really cool parts! I actually love the parts where MomoClo is acting really sinister, which is weird. I could never see MomoClo as a very intimidating group so to see them looming overhead and looking rather threatening is pretty cool! They definitely look like they belong in a Halloween PV! I also enjoyed the dance; it was pretty idol-y as far as idol dances go but it still looked pretty badass but that might have been because of the outfits. And then there are the parts where all the girls look very sweet in their white dresses; I also liked the contrast between dark!MomoClo and light!MomoClo by the way. Speaking of the dresses... yeah, you all know that as a Perfume fan I'm going to immediately connect MomoClo's light-up dresses with Perfume's Spring of Life light-up dresses. And I think you all know which on I prefer. Still, I can appreciate MomoClo's light-up dresses; besides, they have rainbow-colored laser beams! Overall, while this isn't a very scary PV or even the most Halloween-y PV I've seen, Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimi-tachi yo's PV is still pretty cool to look at. There are a lot of different elements thrown into it and while I think they could have been explored a bit more, I'm pretty happy with what I got. And I'm happy that this PV was able to finally start getting me interested in Momoiro Clover Z!

I don't know if I'm going to review anything else by MomoClo in the future but for now I will give this song and PV four out of five apples! It's a fun Halloween song and a fun Halloween PV from a very fun idol group!

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