With 2014 coming to a close, I have come up with my list of awards for this year for idols and their PVs. This year was a positive progression for idols, as we got to see the expansion of many groups branching out to the west and some refreshing new changes to some old groups. Without further ado let’s jump right into my personal list of favorites this idol year has given us!
Best Choreography: Morning Musume ’14 – “What is Love?”
Morning Musume produces some of the best choreography as always. This year I chose “What is Love?” because it was great song that came with some pretty energetic dancing. It keeps it fun with the skip-jerk-hop like movements and the olde puppet and master routine. Morning Musume has always excelled with balance and points of focus in the dance. For example, When Michishige Sayumi does her da-da-da move, the members portrait her well and shift cleanly to other moves that often fails with other groups coughFairiescough.
Worst Choreography: Fairies – “Run with You”
Some of you may be thinking “Your crazy?!” if you are familiar with this group. Fairies has been known to dance very well but, I feel it is safe to justify “Run with You” was underwhelming. “Run with You” features jogging and a bunch of fist pumping. Watching this PV makes me sweat from exhaustion because of how boring it is and how much potential it could have had. Also, if you were to watch this live you can see it just makes the girls so tired bringing their quality down. It is a case of too much unneeded movements have made this dance trash.
Best Set Design: Morning Musume ’14 – “Toki Wo Koe Sora Woe Koe”
This PV has the best set design because it’s space! Everything they added to the set makes the girls more beautiful. The set for this, green screen or not reminds me of Final Destination in The popular video game Super Smash Bros. The whole look of this PV is gorgeous. Obnoxious lens flares aside, the set makes the members look like goddesses. Space is so deep so it sent me into a really deep sentimental place where I could really enjoy the song.
Worst Set Design: Doll☆Elements – “Kimi no Tonari de Odoritai!”
This PV looks like if you took a doll house and put it in a blender with a cotton candy machine. The cut outs for the set look really cheap and would fall apart at any given moment. Also, let’s talk about the big pink ugly couch in the room. It is either carpeted or moldy as hell because I would not sit on that. The couch is shaped so sharply that it doesn’t even look like a real nice couch you want to sit on. This set is just gross, like an 8 year old’s vomit after a spin on the Loop-Da-Loop.
Best Costumes: BiS – “STUPiG”
This PV wins best costume design because of how imaginative it is. Yes, it is a bunch of hot garbage just hot glued on to the members but, with the lighting and the direction the PV takes it really is insane how well things turned out. The costumes artistically expresses the pain of an old thrown away toy. To convey an inner message like that with clothing is a feat. The stage performance outfits are quite nice too.
Worst Costumes: Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku – “Butterfly Effect”
“Butterfly Effect” was an awesome PV that I loved this year. The reason why it made this category this year is because of those hideous cocoon costumes. It was an unnecessary costume for the song and it also made a single cover which was just stupid. These costumes freak me out and I hope I don’t ever see them again.
Strangest PV: Necronomidol – “Vulture”
This PV is the nightmare you get after drinking 6 shots, dropping acid and waking up in a Buddhist monastery. I really do not know what the mentality of random beach balls and cultish light stick breaking is. If you want to freak yourself out for a bit and be like “WAIT, THIS IS AN IDOL PV?!” then watch this.
Gulity Pleasure: Itano Tomoni – “Crush”
Well you know now so…don’t judge.
Biggest Surprise: LinQ – “Garnet”
This was a song that I didn’t expect to be good as LinQ has some pretty slow and mellow songs. This PV was edgy with some memorable choreography and the film layout was well done. The tinker sounds being incorporated with the actual video and song makes it ten-times better. “Garnet” shows so much creativity that I played this for weeks without getting bored. The members look gorgeous in warm colored clothing and the filming location was interesting as well. This PV is so crisp and clear it really is one of the unexpectedly good PVs this year.
Best Newcomer Single: Cupitron – “Unicorn Parade”
Cupitron wins best single because who doesn’t love lolis and the techno sounding music? This song is catchy with tons of hooks that catch my attention. The melody is simple but enticing to the ears. Unicorn Parade really makes me like auto-tune for a strange reason. The virtual atmosphere it brings reminds me of Hatsune Miku without the dead soulless tones, which I really loved.
Most Underwhelming / Disappointing Single: AKB48 – “Kokoro no Placard”
AKB48 this year have been really disappointing. All singles that they produced this year were either really safe like “Kibouteki Refrain” or just really terrible like “Kokoro no Placard”. “Kokoro no Placard” wins this category because, it has that obnoxious “aiyaiyaiyai” line which kills the song. Secondly, the melody is a complete failure compared to its predecessor “Koisuru Fortune Cookie” which easily wins over this song. Lastly, since it is a Watanabe Mayu song my expectations were pretty high because Mayu usually just makes stuff work if she is center. Instead we end up with a joke of a song that doesn’t represent Mayu as a member. For example, KFC was jokingly fun and dorky like Sashihara Rino, “Gingnam Check” and “Heavy Rotation” were energetic and wild like Oshima Yuko. I don’t see the reflection when I listen to this single but, I hear a dumb ploy to get money and how AKB is about the people. Thanks Obama.
Most Overlooked Single: Camouflage – “Aino aijo odoryan se!”
This group is not very well-known so this one is more of a shout out to a group that many people haven’t heard much about. “Aino aijo odoryan se!” is a fun single with some very traditional sounds that make for a great single. It has a simple melody with a chorus that really hooks you in. Camouflage’s sound is very natural and cute. It has cool rock inspiration because one of the members plays the bass for the group and another gDJs some parts of the song. If you’re looking for something new and fresh this is one to look at.
Best Cover Art: Morning Musume ’14 – “Toki Wo Koe Sora Woe Koe”
This cover is just clean and looks stunning as it did in the PV. Many other covers have very bad text or weird coloring so in the end this won. I was hoping Babymetal would win this category but this year they had only had the “Gimme Chocolate” cover which was one of their worst looking covers.
Biggest Surprise: Mayama Rika – “Liar Mask”
Mayama getting a single was probably one of the last things I was expecting this year. Especially the part where she blows the concept and song out of the water. I was really late on the train because I felt Ebichu was releasing things at their own pace and didn’t hear much about this song. When I did discover this song, I was astounded when I heard it the first time in the anime “Akame ga Kill”. It struck me with a familiarity at first but then I jumped out of my seat and was murmuring to myself “This can not be!” I madly Googled it and loe and behold a Mayama single.
My Top B-Sides
Idol Group Category:
Best Improvement: Morning Musume ’14
Morning Musume gets best improvement because I believe after dropping Tanaka Reina the quality of songs went up. I don’t specifically blame her but; I do think she was a factor that limited my enjoyment of the older Morning Musume songs. Also, Morning Musume has gotten stronger over the year with some of the younger members maturing and showing off their vocal capabilities. Sayashi Riho and Oda Sakura are just beast in the vocal department.
Best Newcomer: – Niji no Conquistador
These girls are cute and had some amazingly good songs this year. They show lots of promise without the need of auto-tune. They have some great songs all around about the powers of the rainbow.
Most Potential: Morning Musume ’14/15
Again the members are young and are maturing. Almost all of the members are capable of great dance and singing skills. This potential can only be unlocked with greater songs in the future. If Tsunku gets better and begins producing again I believe we will have something quite powerful. If you don’t believe me go back and listen to the updated Morning Musume album.
Best Move (Choreography): “Tiki Bun” – DJ Turntables
It’s just a fun move that can be easily mimicked by anyone
Best Trend: Babymetal
Babymetal blowing up on the internet was one of the most fun trends to watch this year. They have earned some new respect in the west and it really was a joy to see something that wasn’t K-Pop being wowed at for once
Worst Trend: AKB Shuffle
I don’t know why Aki-P is doing this. There really wasn’t much time to settle after the last shuffle. Also, mixing some of the core members is just stupid. It makes me confused and uninterested in the team system. It would be okay to do one every 2 years but annually is not going to help much.
Favorite Moment: Mechaike: Oshima Yuko Graduation
I think this is one of the best graduations to watch instead of drunken Acc-chan. This show was just all around heartwarming and funny.
Idol Group of the Year: Babymetal
Top 10 Singles:
- Morning Musume ’14 – “Toki Wo Koe Sora Woe Koe”
- Tokyo Girl Style – “Partition love”
- LinQ – “Garnet”
- BiS – “STUPiG”
- Team Syachihoko – “Iikurashi”
- Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku – “Butterfly Effect”
- Fairies- “Bling Bling My Love”
- Morning Musume ’14 – “Tiki Bun”
- Up Up Girls (Kari) – “(Kari) wa Kaesuze Be your Soul”
- Camouflage – “Aino aijo odoryan se!”
Thanks for reading! If you have any opinions or concerns hit me up on Twitter!
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