Lets talk about something positive. Much of idol, like independent music, finds funding to be a limiting factor when producing media. So how does one, with a restrictive budget, produce a memorable MV? Here is a short list of some which stand out to me.
A surprisingly (and uncharacteristically) interesting MV from the sub-par Up Up Girls.
You’ll Melt More! caught my interest when they released a track arranged by Polysics front man Hiroyuki Hayashi. Here is their (relatively) new choose your own adventure VR MV.
This example from GUSTO era Especia stands out, with its faux analog effects and frugal appearances of the groups members.
The square format nostalgia of this Sayopony MV is the quintessential example the Japanese veneration of school girls. Directed by photographer Yuki Aoyama.
And of course, this brief list could hold no credibility without mention of Lyrical School taking control of your phone.
This week, the decuplet of girls of Niji no Conquistador have discovered homosexuality, and they plan to exploit this knowledge, to sell CDs. The new track, Paradoxical Complex, is nothing out of the ordinary for nijicon. It is high tempo, light, somewhat catchy but ultimately indistinguishable for the rest of their output.
In truth, I find it difficult to reconcile my feelings about this MV, and this group as a whole. The music is so trite that one could quite easily assume the groups entire existence a parody. On the other hand, the ecchi nonsense is presented here with apparent sincerity. Is it possible to acquiesce to the carnal needs of fans without also patronising them?
Perhaps the groups true impression of their audience is revealed when we see one member pumping her fists to gravure pictures of Nagi Nemoto (Whose solo work with Mikeneko Homeless is worthlisteningto). I would hazard a guess that this action is less romantic in reality to that portrayed in the video.
Curiously the group has now dropped their long-standing English (Engrish) description
What’s Niji no Conquistador (Nijicon)?
Idols usually have a theme of cultural festivals, but this exciting idol unit also mixes in creators!
There are currently 10 members and they have participated in creations relating to voice acting,illustrating,cosplaying,and choreographing.
The above sentiment instead appears in Japanese, and presumably is intelligible to one who knows the language.
It is of course true that in any medium, there are examples of both good and poor expression. In idol however, the disparity between the worthwhile and the worthless is particularly wide.
The worst of idol, is so devoid of merit, that one could immediately dismiss the all idol entirely. But to do so would be to turn ones back on a wealth of independently spirited and occasionally brilliant projects.
Is it the handicap of being a foreigner that makes the premise of idol confusing? Are we supposed to be impressed simply by pretty girls, each attired in their prescribed colour, dancing to mediocre tunes, which sound for all the world like the demo mode on a Casio keyboard? It is patronising in the extreme.
In order to find those groups, worth ones attention, one needs to circumvent the generic and designed by committee. But once you find something admirable, look at related groups, explore the producer, pull on the threads and you may find more of what you are looking for.