“Chai Maxx”: They’ll Knee You in the Face; it’s in their Choreography.

This PV showcases a fighting ring with stadium lights, surrounded by chain-linked fences and… colorful balloons? It must be the work of Momoiro Clover. ‘Chai Maxx’ is ‘Mirai Bowl’s b-side, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Momoiro Clover continues to prove that having a low budget for a PV is not a handicap. Despite having only one set to work with, they create a fast-moving and fun music video. While having just one set did lead to some eye-fatigue of seeing the same colors for the entire PV, they did well to make sure every shot had something interesting going on, making it almost non-issue.

It’s become a norm to expect Momoiro Clover to pick up a new theme for every video, and this time they chose to tackle ring fighting, with painted-on bruises, fast edits, and stills we usually see in videos of that genre. It’s full of over-the-top and silly faces as they simulate getting KO-ed, with entertaining solo shots of the girls acting out tough-guy tropes. Akari’s and Shiori’s parts were the most enjoyable to watch, as lots of Akari’s solo parts just ended up looking legitimately cool and Shiori had several parts that made me laugh aloud. Ayaka was also a stand-out in this PV, where in previous entries I didn’t feel like she had a big chance to shine.

The shiny silver and gold outfits add a lot of visual flair to the video, though I prefer that the clothes were in their respective colors of red, blue, yellow, green, pink, and purple. If they did that, they could have avoided having the video be saturated in the same colors for the entire PV. I enjoyed the choreography, especially during the chorus—but I’m not a fan of the wide leg stance they perform at the end of each chorus. I’ve seen that move in plenty of idol videos, and I’ve always found it awkward and ugly. It’s the last pose they strike when the song ends, and you can tell that even the members are struggling to keep that stance. It’s a hard pose to hold and it looks unnatural, they could have replaced it with something better.

The song, like many of Momoiro Clover songs, skips all the build up and goes straight to the climax—and doesn’t let up until the end. The instrumentals, as always, are hard-hitting and refreshing with a twist of manic frenzy we’ve come to love, but the melody and the vocal delivery is where the real charm and fun comes from. It may be just me but Chai Maxx has made the biggest impression on me as far as realizing their uniquely diverse voices. All the solo lines from the different members have quickly become my favorite parts of the song; but that’s not to detract from the great, relentless chorus that puts “Co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-co-nuts” to shame.

When I watched the short preview of this song/PV, I was a little worried that it would come off as repetitive and and tiring, but I was completely wrong. Aside from ‘Hashire!’, the b-side to ‘Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo’, this is probably my favorite b-side from Momoiro Clover, and definitely my favorite b-side video from them. It’s a song I can play on death-loop, and a PV I will revisit several times.

‘Chai Maxx’ (b-side to Mirai Bowl)
Momoiro Clover
Releases March 9th, 2011


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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