Music Video Roundup – September 2012
heidi – Kumorizora niwa Koimoyou
For their latest single, heidi have taken the brave decision to not appear in the video at all. Instead, they’ve chosen a dark fantasy theme with a mix of animation and live action to tell their story. If Tim Burton was asked to create a Jrock music video in the style of a surreal Monty Python animated short, then the end result would probably be very similar to “Kumorizora niwa Koimoyou.”
The lead character is a gothic, blonde Japanese girl who carries an axe and a mace and she is the object of the affections of a rabbit-thing that looks like it’s possibly related to Frank from Donnie Darko. The rabbit gives her his heart, but she tears him apart and wears the head of his suit. Life and more randomness spills from the open head of an owl wearing an astronaut suit, and a disembodied mouth pops up occasionally to sing along to the vocals.
The video definitely serves the twin purposes of being noticed and not easily forgotten, but it is to the detriment of the song. There is so much happening and so much random craziness that it’s difficult to concentrate on and actually hear the strong single that the video is meant to be promoting. Repeated viewings are most definitely needed!
Mix Speaker’s Inc. – SKY HEAVEN
The setting for Mix Speaker’s Inc’s latest video is a fairytale castle in the sky. The elaborate and beautiful white costumes that the band is so famous for are present as always and reflect the clean purity of the song title perfectly. The performance scenes of the video see the band in the grand hall of the castle, and the individual shots of singers YUKI and MIKI have them seated in medieval style thrones, although the King of the Castle is undoubtedly bassist Seek who has chosen to dress… as a castle. Complete with ramparts and a tower for his hat.
Drummer S has the most elaborate costume though as he is dressed as unicorn and he happily trots around with an additional two legs during the non-performance scenes of the video. Officially he’s supposed to be a Pegasus, but he seems to have lost his wings. Possibly the most surreal scene in an increasingly surreal music video, is when singer MIKI, dressed as a Lucifer-esque knight, tries to ride S and later steals the baguette he’s munching on.
With SKY HEAVEN, Mix Speaker’s Inc have found the perfect combination of crazy costumes and accurately capture the light tone of the song. They float and twirl in the air as the song plays and the interaction between the band members in the video is sure to make fans smile.
NINJAMAN JAPAN – Fly Away
Ninjaman Japan continue the tradition of living up to their name with their new music video, “FLY AWAY.” It takes place in a disused warehouse that is suffering from a ninja infiltration, instead of the usual swarm of cockroaches or rats. The band, including support guitarist Daishi, have plenty of solo performance scenes as the ninjas skulk around the building but their presence is soon noticed and the fight scenes begin.
Nobody in the band is a stuntman or a superhero, but thanks to some clever and quick-fire editing, they all put on a good show. They kick and punch the ninjas and even swing and dive from the scaffolding, with drummer Pinky doing the most impressive and memorable scaffold gymnastics. It all has little relation to the song, but suits the rapid guitar work well. Each member of the band has their own ninja power based in a different element and it is these that finally win the battle against the enemy ninjas. The most exciting powers belong to singer Sarino, the fire element, who sets a ninja’s ass on fire and bassist Metal, the metal element (obviously), who turns his opponent into a steel statue. The special effects are pretty basic and obviously done on a budget but they suit the not-entirely serious tone of the video.
The video is fun and like NINJAMAN JAPAN’s previous music videos, it’s visual kei meets Super Sentai. “FLY AWAY” has more emphasis on the visual kei side of that combination than previous efforts but it’s a combination that makes NINJAMAN JAPAN stand out.