Impressions: “PPCC”

Brand-new Idol Society (BiS) are the idol group that no one really asked for, but the kind of group that the scene needs to challenge the ideals of what an idol should be. Ideals that have long since been ingrained in the minds of hardcore wota. “PPCC” is the group’s first single since penning a deal with record label Avex Trax and today we will be reviewing the PV that will accompany it, which can be found here. Alternatively you can watch an edited version of the PV on Youtube.

BiS are well known for their off the wall and provocative PVs so read on after the break to hear our take on how “PPCC” measures up.

 

Garry:

I’ll start this review off by saying that it might be a little bit difficult for me to remain objective since I’m pretty much the BiS guy around these parts. However being such a big fan I’m coming into this release with arguably the largest expectations out of all of us so hopefully the two will balance out.

Let’s start off by talking about the song because in my mind the song is vastly more important than the PV. In general, it’s pretty easy for me to ignore a terrible PV but if the song sucks then we have a major problem. As you may or may not know, BiS don’t really do traditional idol songs unless it’s part of some elaborate prank on their fans. This results in a rather wide spectrum of sound which can vary greatly from release to release. In general though there are usually guitars and poppy sounding vocals involved to some capacity.

PPCC does indeed have a lot of guitars and pop vocals which may or may not be your thing depending on how much of an idol purist you are. Regardless of your views on that, one thing is undeniable; the song has a killer hook. While well written hooks are very common when it comes to BiS songs, I feel like this one is one of their better ones to date. If you listen to the song all the way through and don’t find yourself humming it for the rest of the day then I don’t really know what to say. Perhaps you just don’t enjoy good music.

Overall, this is an energetic and catchy pop rock song. Energetic and catchy are two things I look for in an idol song so this suits me down to the ground.

Moving onto the actual PV and I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t play out exactly like I thought it would. I had this glorious image of the girls beating down a rival gang with spiked baseball bats and it didn’t quite happen. What I got was about as close as I could get to what I wanted without them actually showing these 5 tiny girls wailing away on these huge menacing dudes. A wise man once said “You can’t always get what you want” but this was reasonably close.

Shifting gears a bit, this is possibly the only idol PV in the history of forever that actually left me in stitches. Seriously if you don’t find the part where they randomly strip off their uniforms to reveal school swimsuits underneath then start running head first towards the gang of dudes hilarious, you have no right to call me negative about everything. Easily one of my favorite moments in an idol PV this year.

Another thing to note about the PV is that it’s very nicely shot. The camera shots in general look really nice but they real eye-catcher is the slow motion running portions of the video. The fact that those are even in there and in such good quality shows that there was a considerable budget behind this PV, something  I hope continues in the future. However, the exploding head shots at the end looked incredibly amateurish so perhaps the budget didn’t stretch quite far enough.

Overall I really love the song and while the PV didn’t quite live up to the vision I had in my head I still thought it was incredibly solid and I really enjoyed it.

PV:

Song:

 

Dae:

BiS isn’t your typical, family-friendly idol group. They aim outside of the broad, mainstream appeal and go for fans who are open-minded and more adventurous with their fandom. They’re hardly avant garde, closely following the conventions of goth and pop rock, but they might as well be when compared to the synth-laden cotton candy sound of tried and true idol songs. Whether one appreciates their direction is purely up to personal taste, but it’s unmistakably foreign when compared to the accustomed framework of idols, and definitely worth giving a shot if you’ve never heard of them.

‘PPCC’ embodies much of what turned me into a fan of BiS in the first place: high energy songs that evoke nostalgic trips to the dozens of burned pop-punk CDs I made and listened to religiously in middle school. American pop-punk is a clear influence in the instrumentals, and its distinctly catchy beats strike a sentimental chord with me which begs repeat listens.

The vocal melody is more distinctly Japanese pop, which makes for an interesting amalgam of styles that sound natural and as a result, really fun. Some have taken issue with the fact that they have a distinct ‘rock band’ sound while not actually playing instruments— but I believe that performing idols are primarily singers and dancers, and can do so against any kind of music, instrumentals be damned. My ears don’t discriminate, they just want what sounds good.

I’ve been less interested with BiS PVs as of late. While the songs were new and exciting in the context of the idol-verse, the music videos that accompanied them often seemed like ‘try hard’ attempts by the director for pseudo-artistic shock vids. Running nude in a forest, showing baby videos, and sticking small cameras down BiS member’s throats are all intriguing ideas, but in the end that’s all they were. They got better with their previous release, ‘IDOL’, which was an alternative metal song, paired appropriately with impressive goth visuals and solid, focused execution overall.

In ‘PPCC’, the members of BiS face off with a large gang of angry looking tattooed men who wield nun-chucks and katanas. Already, you should realize something is different— this PV has a premise! Its concept is also established in a far more straight and cinematic manner than they ever have before, with wide shots and super crisp visuals. With Avex backing them, it’s evident that BiS has no lack of funding when it comes to PVs. For a group that shot music videos with cellphones, this is a really big step up in production. HD cameras that shoot at high speed? Sure, why not?

It also displays well thought-out ideas; the best being the reveal of BiS’s modified school-issue swimsuits, cleverly contrasting with the bikini clad PVs that many idol groups release this time of year. Where summer idol PVs shoot under the hot, tropical sun, ‘PPCC’ shoots on a dim, overcast day. Summer idol PVs typically shoot on the beach, and while ‘PPCC’ also shoots waterside, it’s on a cold and remote parking lot in the docks. It’s a big step up conceptually from the seemingly random and pointless ventures BiS went through in PVs past.

While they took some steps forward in production, I think there are a few issues that keep this PV from being great. While there are really cool initial establishing shots and build-up, the latter two thirds of it simply didn’t pick up or deliver on the premise. I found that a good 80-90% of the PV are were, in essence, slow and plodding establishing shots which were at first very pretty, but very redundant to the very end. I thought it was gonna be a fun and absurd ride with ‘PPCC’, but there wasn’t much of anything, crazy or otherwise, to be seen because so much of the screen time was devoted to slow motion shots of running.

Speaking of which, the entire PV is shot in varying degrees of slow motion. The entire thing. Now that’s not a problem by itself, because it could be remedied by smart editing— but again, read: really lengthy and redundant shots of slow motion running. It throws you a bone at the eleventh hour, finally showcasing the neon colored bats with comically large nails protruding from them that were teased in promotional pictures, and some hilariously bad exploding heads from a couple gang members, but it didn’t make me forget the repetitive journey it took to get there.

Time to wrap this up. This song shines, as usual; There is nary a BiS release in sight that could be called typical idol fare, and it does so with strong, focused songs. I wish I could say the same about the PVs, but they’re at least running in the right direction. In slow motion.

PV:

Song:

 

Anthony:

Did you expect anything else from BiS? A PV that leaves you scratching your head. At least this PV didn’t feature cameras going down people’s throats, am I right? The PV for “PPCC” is interesting, safer than their previous PVs for sure but I’m not sure if there’s replay value for me. One of the biggest pet peeves for me in PVs is the excessive use of slow motion. I’m glad this second edit of the PV has less slow motion running but the PV is entirely in slow-mo. The PV could have featured more cuts if the whole PV wasn’t in slow-mo.

The thugs in the PV are cool but they’re just cool. Nothing spectacular or outstanding about it. It just makes the visual a tad bit more interesting than having regular dudes running. I actually think in cases like this, dudes dressed in suits would be more entertaining. I didn’t really understand the colored swimsuit bottom shot at all. Is it fan service? Does it have ties to the song or is it just to identify the members? The fighting was pretty lackluster. It just looked like the dudes were mugging the flailing members of BiS.

I’m assuming that “PPCC” stands for “pero pero chucchuu” which are the lyrics at the chorus so the licking of the blood between the members of BiS makes sense since “pero pero” is the action of licking and “chuu chuu” is the action of sucking or kissing.

The head explosions at the end were not satisfying at all. I equate it to the ever disappointing Yamamoto Sayaka human cannon launch from “Junjou U-19” by NMB48. I understand that they have to play it safer for PVs to air on TV but I was hoping for some gore with those spiked bats involved. Maybe we’ll see an uncensored version of the PV, who knows. I’ve never been a fan of BiS’s PVs because they just don’t cater to my tastes.

Song-wise, “PPCC” is fantastic. I love almost everything about the song. The biggest draw for the song is the melody in the chorus. Pero Pero Chucchuu is a super catchy melody and easy to sing along to. The biggest issue I had with this song is the drumming. I am being particularly picky with the drumming because I am a drummer of 14 years so I take issues with the tiniest of oddities I find in the drumming. The biggest issue is that the snare drum for this recording is WAY TOO LOUD. It’s super distracting during the fills and over powers everything else in the song. Also, whoever wrote the drum parts for this song needs to listen to some punk rock and learn some real punk rock beats and fills. The drum recordings in Japan are just so flat and boring(it has gotten better in the past couple of years). I wish they could take lessons from how full and powerful the drum recordings in the West sound. I take drumming very personally and don’t let drumming injustice get away easily even if it’s a group creating good music like BiS!

PV:

Song:

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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2 comments

  1. I agree the most with Anthony. I think the song’s amazing. I used to love this kind of rock when I was in middle school. But I didn’t like the PV. It was quite boring for me. The whole fighting scene was unsatisfying and I wish there were more shots with the bats. I wish the PV direction this group takes would go in a different route honestly. I don’t like them trying to get fans out of pure shock value when their music is so good.

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