Music

Trippy graphics and Hello Kitty: My journey into Japanese music videos

by Sydney Dorner

Staff Writer

I’m a journalist from New York visiting The Japan Times this summer and for my first assignment my editor asked me to find five music videos to share with you. I fully admit, this is my first time encountering the world of Japanese music, but research has never been this fun.

Shiggy Jr.

“Summer Time Love”

The first music video I came across this week looks like a cooking show with a Malibu Barbie vibe set as the backdrop to an unconventional love story. Did someone in Shiggy Jr. use to live in LA? The video for pop-rock tune “Summer Time Love” appears as if it’s straight out of “Saved By The Bell” or “California Dreams.” And the plot isn’t much different — anyone who grew up on American television is going to feel some kind of nostalgic pang. A “chubby girl” transforms into a thin beauty and falls in love with a beach boy hunk, but then the spell fades … and the band barfs sparkles (I don’t remember Screech doing that). Eat your heart out Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Ircle

“Kaze no Naka de Kimi o Mitanda”

Rockers Ircle take us on a mischievous adventure around Tokyo to promote their track, “Kaze no Naka de Kimi o Mitanda” (“I Saw You in the Wind”), while on the back of a see-through white van. The four members get the attention of fans as they are driven through the streets, and a couple of curious tourists snap some photos, naturally thinking, “Ain’t Japan crazy!?” Unfortunately, the police catch up to our crew, who take them on a wild goose chase to their show: A sweaty affair they arrive at in true rock fashion. Take that coppers! J-rockers just wanna have fun.

Hocori

“God Vibration”

It’s Hocori for the win this week with a simple — yet very entertaining — clip for “God Vibration.” Watch this and tell me you don’t just adore the guy busting out his classic dance moves on the rotating dancefloor. Throughout the whole music video you have to stop yourself from wanting to hype the performer up though, there are moments when it looks like he zones out to the feel-good disco vibe — but that didn’t keep me from cracking up.

LLLL

“Holy Lust”

The clip for LLLL’s “Holy Lust” is a trippy journey into digital art. The Tokyo-based electronic producer snagged Daahara for this one, in which he seems to match the instrumentals while playing with your optics — there were parts where I thought, “Is that a person?” It’s a firework of bleeding colors that sync with a serious beat and it’s great to get lost to in those late hours of the night when you just want to chill. “Holy Lust” led me to some of LLLL’s DJ sets, which are great to relax to on the busy morning commute.

Dempagumi.inc

“MUnasawagi no HImitsu?!”

Hello Kitty, idol pop and an anti-itch cream? Don’t fall in love all at once. Dempagumi.inc was apparently inspired by the line, “Girls in love wear ribbons” for the video for “MUnasawagi no HImitsu?!” Aww, these girls are hopeless romantics. But just like with any path to love there are always pests, and in this case they’re mosquitoes. Luckily, Dempagumi.inc has Pocket Muhi anti-itch cream to make the quest for love a tad easier. You know, when people try to think of a way to fix Japan’s shrinking population problem, has anyone considered anti-itch cream may be the way?

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