[PV Roundup] Morning Musume ’16, Saho Akari, ROCK A JAPONICA, Keyakizaka46

by Mike


This week on PV Roundup? Not much, just the video of the year.


Morning Musume ’16 – “Sou Janai”


Morning Musume’s new single started off on a pretty fun note. It was cool to see them play up the sexy card as it’s not something they often do so blatantly. Well, fans who may prefer a more typical Momusu approach might find the PV for “Sou Janai” a bit more comfortable. It’s hard to miss how generic this PV is in some ways, but it’s still very much worth watching. Additionally, this PV solved my long standing oshi crisis.

I guess this single lets us know Makino Maria is at the front to stay, huh? Right from the start it’s pretty clear whose video this is. The dance and interaction almost solely focus on her, but it’s not a total wash for the other members. The dance scene includes everyone, and there’s a good amount of solo singing shots for each member. The transitions back to Maria feel natural enough, but she definitely gets the biggest piece of the screen time pie. This PV is a good example of how to have a center without alienating the rest of the group.

Unfortunately, that’s about the only aspect of this PV that really stands out. The rest of it is good, but very by the book and generic. There’s really not a lot to it story-wise other than Maria warping in like a Terminator and adjusting the girls’ poses. Besides that, it’s just a sing and dance affair. There’s nothing wrong with that formula, but the dance for this one isn’t overly memorable. The scenery is also one of H!P’s less interesting staples: an empty lobby. The outfits are also pretty simple. Mostly they’re just a mesh of white and light purple fabric.

You know, as I watch this video another time, I’ll give one other aspect props. The camera work is really good. All of the scenes are well angled and the camera isn’t too stagnant in this one. Everyone looks very nice in their shots, and Maria’s scenes in particular make use of slow motion in a good way. It’s still not enough to propel this video into great territory, but it’s more than watchable. There’s light use of some special effects but it’s very minimal and out of the way. What is there looks nice.

The song is a very different story. While it does nothing to change things up for present day Morning Musume, I find it to be a spectacular song. It’s my favorite in recent memory, actually. The instrumentals for this one have a hint of older Avex J-Pop in my opinion. It’s only at certain points, but it’s enough to make this long-time idol fan a little nostalgic. In general the instrumentals are nice without being over the top. The vocals are more generic territory. They rely heavily on a chorus sound, with only a sprinkling of solo lines even for Maria, but they do exist. Even so, it’s got an energy I really enjoy listening to.

I’d also like to take a moment to say this PV has solved my Morning Musume oshi crisis. As I’ve written before I’ve had a hard time with it since Sayashi Riho left, but seeing her awesome performance in this PV gives me cause to finally just accept the girl who’s grabbed my attention the most. Makino Maria, you win. You’re the oshi. Congratulations.


Morning Musume ’16’s new single drops November 23rd.

Watch: YouTube (Official)

Buy on Amazon JP: Type A [Regular Edition] | Type B [Regular Edition] | Type C [Regular Edition] | Type A [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] | Type B [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] | Type C [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]

Buy on CDJapan: Type A [Regular Edition] | Type B [Regular Edition] | Type C [Regular Edition] | Type A [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] | Type B [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] | Type C [w/ DVD, Limited Edition]