Tag Archives: J-Pop
PPAP Hits BoFN
What can I say? No excuse. It just is what it is.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Harajuku Iyahoi
I’m really behind in my Kyary kyoverage. How behind? So behind that this video was already approaching 3.5 million views before I even noticed it. Anyway, alright, what do you folks think of this one?
My take? Visually, this is Kyary at her very best and could only be the work of the visual genius Sebastian Masuda. It’s a psychedelic black-light pastiche of Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Zhivago, Russian folk dancing, Japanese summer festivals, Harajuku street culture, and . . . aw forget it. You figure it out. I believe the Tempura kids are doing some of the backdancing.
Musically, I say meh. Yasutaka Nakata is a Brian Eno level techno genius but I’m afraid this time he’s kind of calling it in. Lyrics? Judge for yourself at Kpopviral.
Kyary’s in a tough spot now for self-definition. The whole “Let’s be wierdly, funkily, colorfully cute and different in my dadaist celebration of eternal immaturity” anthem has almost reached shark-jump criticality. But it is so integral to Kyary’s persona, where else does she have to go musically? Naw, I think Kyary has to keep riding this one to the end, then transition to producer/designer/tv commentator.
Let’s give Kyary credit for an amazingly original repertoire.
Finally, the Kyary Kyuteness Quotient (KKQ). Freezing the frame at 3:32, I’ll give Kyary a solid 8.7 on this one. The light blue dress, braids and ushanka hat definitely do it for me.
Shiina Ringo & Seishun no Matataki
Shiina Ringo “Seishun no Matataki” (Flicker of Youth), written for Chiaki Kuriyama who released it 2011, here performed by Shiina Ringo herself 2014.
Lyrics here courtesy of Lyrical Nonsense. Shiina Ringo is a very gifted songwriter but I find her voice a bit grating. I love the arrangement though, with the interwoven electronica.
Ayaka & Mikazuki
Ayaka, “Mikazuki” (crescent moon), single from 2006.
Romanized lyrics and translation here, courtesy of Kiwi Musume. Exit questions: How did she get up there, anyway? And how is she going to get down?
Tabi no Hajime ni & Wong Wing Tsan
“Tabi no Hajime ni” (at the beginning of the journey), familiar as the theme music for the NKH documentary program, Nippon Kikou. Composed and played by Wong Wing Tsan.
The Night Rules Rocktober
Nightsky Radio launches his second week of the Great Rocktober Countdown of 2016, with a band that I myself recommended, but a puzzling and perplexing one. Don’t miss NSR’s always interesting weekly specials. Here’s the first week, which is pure Garbage. And I don’t mean that in a bad way but in a plain, stating-the-facts kind of way.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu & Sai and Co [[[[
Well, now! Kyary’s definitely getting her groove back with “Sai & Co.”
I missed this, which means I’m at least three months behind on my Kyary kyoverage. (Hey, kyome on! Her previous video was “Crazy Party Night”, fer Pete’s sake. Don’t judge me!)
Yasutaka Nakata’s music here is bouncy and totally acceptable as a Kyary vehicle, even it it may not be up there with his best Kyary tunes. The visual work is superb, especially with the scaled figures, the kyolors, the set, the kyoreography, the overall imaginative explosion, and Kyary as giant stick figure manikin drummer. The pastiche of tropes suggest that Kyary’s going Pixar on us, though maybe not full Pixar. Think Toy Story meets Monsters Inc. meets “Babes in Toyland” meets Amazon Prime meets . . . Gravity? You decide.
And Kyary looks kyute! Especially in the knee length China dress for the ramen bowl dance at the end. Our International Kyary Kyuteness Index (IKKI) approaches “Fashion Monster” and “Furisodeshon” levels. You go, Kyary!
Lyrics in English, Romanized Japanese, and all Japanese can be found on tumblr here at kyarychan.
It must have been a challenge, given Kyary’s kyaracteristic wordplay, to make the translation work. “Saikou” is “highest” or “best,” but writing the title as “Sai & Co” (with the video working on a factory/shipping center premise) means that the “Co” also plays on “company” (Sai & Company, Inc.). kyarychan translates this as “The & best” in the lyrics . . . but that just plain doesn’t make any sense!
But let’s not get too picky. I’m not sure I could have done any better. Heck, I can’t even write Sai & Co properly in the title, because my theme (Vertigo) doesn’t allow ampersands; it turns them into turntables. I retaliated by putting in left brackets, which turn into falling men.
Be all that as it may, this is definitely two thumbs up! Welcome back, Kyary.
Goodbye & Sakanaction
“Goodbye” by Sakanaction (2014).
Lyrics are here.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, the Ride
I’ve fallen behind on things Kyary, but now I’m obliged to report the opening of the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu XR Ride at Universal Studios Japan (in Osaka).
I confess I was getting ready to write Kyary off after her shark-jumping”Revenge of the Pumpkins” video, but Kyary once again rises like a Phoenix from the ashes. Kyary rules Kawaii.