Melodies in the memories…

So today I was minding my own buisness at HJU when I see a thread for Nao Nagasawa‘s new music video. I remembered the craziness that was “FUN TIME” and I was initially reluctant but thought “What the hell” and viewed it.

And I saw the following (NSFW)

I turned it off after the coat part.

Honestly the whole thing pisses me off because yet another idol has gone down the road of the current “Ero-Edge” trend in j-pop. At the forefront of this; Koda Kumi. I love her music to death (save for a few songs) but her music videos have kinda made me lose respect for her in my book as, literally, she’s turned into the Japanese Shakira. In other words; “All tits and ass”, shoving it out and not even really turning anybody on, just alienating people and making us all wonder “WTF”.

..Or at least making *me* wonder WTF.

But the ero-edge trend has been popping up all over the place now. First it was Koda, then her sister for crying out loud, then a few more artists enter the fray including GAM with the PV for Melodies (and before you freak out and go “OMG”, I’ll get to that in a sec) and now even the mighty Hurricane Blue herself has fallen prey to it. The thing that appealed me with J-Pop initially besides the sound is the innocence. The bling and the clevage of american mainstream drove me into Japanese music in the first place, now it’s turning into the very thing that I turned away from and all because of a trend.

When I intially ranted about this on HJU, a fellow member spoke out and disagreed with me and made a good point. The anger shouldn’t be on the idols, it should be on the managers. In the end, it’s their say on what they’ll be wearing for the next public appearance and PV. But even after that, you’re still left with being pissed because they went along with it. The best way I can describe it; imagine Moi Dix Mois, the embodiment of goth and Visual Kei right now to suddenly go Oshare Kei which is basically the upbeat happy version of Visual Kei overnight because all the other bands are doing it.

(Consequently, Mana, the founder of MDM said once in an interview that when he was younger, one of his favorite bands pulled a similar switch like the one I just mentioned and reassured fans that he swore he’d never do the same thing to them. A sigh of relief really because I’d feel bad after this entry if he suddenly did go Oshare Kei.)

But back to the afformentioned GAM video, the big shocker is at the end when both Aya and Miki share a romantic kiss (which was cut out of the broadcast version of the PV yet fully visible on the DVD version). Compared to saaaaay Koda Kumi’s song and video “Imasugu Hoshii” (lit. translation; “I want you now”), it’s pretty tame and it is really not all that bad (and for those olverly sensitive types, I’m not against that sort of thing, it’s just when it’s reduced to Shakira chest thrusting that it pisses me off).

Also Viyuden, another Hello Project spin-off of sorts, did a music video where the three members are in bunny girl suits dancing around. Sure it was done in good taste and the GAM music video was beautiful to look at on screen but I sit there watching it, getting a bad feeling in my gut that the managers and even the minds behold Hello! Project are going to permanently go with the trend. It’s like A Christmas Carol and I’m seeing the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

..Sorry if that analogy sounded a bit too dramatic but seriously that’s what was going through my head.

Is this really what the future of J-Pop holds? Are we going to be seeing Morning Musume re-enacting the Abercrombie and Fitch “Jack and Jill-Off” next year? Will BoA suddenly give into that Britney Spears’ skank aura which rubbed off on her during their collaboration and pull a Madonna kiss at the Golden Music Awards with Koda Kumi? Only time (and whatever is popular at the time) will tell.

Until then, courage.
-mike

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