Impressions: Virginity


The title of NMB’s latest single, ‘Virginity’, will undoubtedly be the catalyst of many groan-inducing jokes, but how was the actual release? With their past quality songs and PVs, NMB is a group one could easily have high hopes for with each single. However, ‘Virginity’ received a mixed response by Anthony, Dae, and Garry– Read on for their thoughts after the break.

 

Anthony:

I honestly did not have high expectations coming into this release by NMB48. “Nagiichi” was a disappointment, “Mousou Girlfriend” was a SEVERE disappointment so my expectations were not high. So, in a way, “Virginity” did not disappoint.

The PV has odd cuts of the members doing daily activities that reveal bits of what is going on in the world of this PV. I’m assuming that this PV will have an extended PV that explain the story cuts.

I thought the dance shot of this PV is shot very well and shows off the great choreography and features nice close ups of the members and their choreography as well and as always with NMB48, they perform some sort of stunt featuring Yamamoto Sayaka. This time a bridge formed by members on all fours and Yamamoto Sayaka running on top of them. I thought this was a fun watch as always with NMB’s physical stunts. I liked seeing Ogasawara Mayu commanding center for the bridge.

I hope to see a dance shot version of this PV and would much prefer that version than this one that feature random cuts of the girls and their lives without explanation.

This song had so much potential. The instrumentals are top notch with loud blaring horns and a lead trumpet melody that reminds me of pop music 30-50 years ago in Japan. The biggest issue with the song is the lack of build between parts of the song and lack of differentiation. The low points of the song aren’t low enough and the high points aren’t high enough. I honestly thought that after repeated play for the purposes of this review would help me like the song a little more but I still feel the same way that I felt when I first heard the song.

The vocal melodies in this song are very flat and not catchy like pop music should be. It feels like the composer went very safe and did not try to experiment with the entertaining sound that the instrumentals provided. It severely disappoints me knowing that the composer had the ability to create such fulfilling, exciting instrumentals but failed horribly to create a melody that could be stuck in our heads for weeks. Is there really a point for a group that’s selling as well as NMB48 to experiment? Absolutely not but if this keeps up, someone who takes into the musical aspect idols seriously like me will start to care MUCH LESS about them.

PV:

Song:

 

Dae:

NMB’s latest single release caused a few shifty glances and giggle-fits when they announced that the title of the song was ‘Virginity’. It continues to color NMB’s profile as the spicier branch of the 48 family, an aspect which has produced my favorite NMB songs such as ‘Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo’ and ‘Junjou U-19’. ‘Virginity’ is tonally similar to the aforementioned titles, but not without unique twists of its own.

‘Virginity’ is a song that mixes swanky nostalgia-inducing trumpet stylings from the 40’s with 60’s surf rock and idol music; That’s one hell of a cocktail. This quickly became one of my favorite instrumental offerings from any idol group this year. I can’t help but visualize dapper, old-timey gangsters in suits smoking cigars, counting their fat stacks of cash and gambling in a loud, smokey cabaret.

The brass and percussion beats hit the right notes and really transformed the song from what could have been a run-of-the-mill idol song to something vastly more interesting with a bold personality. While the chorus bellows with horns, drums and aggressive guitar, the calming surf tunes and the few accented notes with the piano during the verses bring a layer of warmth and sweetness to the song which I felt added depth and great contrast.

In my book, ‘Kurokami Shoujo’ always stood at the top as the undisputed champion of NMB singles, but ‘Virginity’ is definitely rocking its pedestal. I can’t get the blaring horns out of my head, and the musical bridge is appropriately extravagant and grand; bringing everything up to a heightened crescendo that I feel has been fairly uncommon with this year’s offerings.

I feel the PV doesn’t represent the song as well as it could have, but I do feel that you get something extra from watching it. The dance sequences are brilliant, with uncharacteristically harsh lighting and moving spotlights in the background. There’s a simplicity to it but despite the plain set-up, the way it was shot gave it a surreal and chaotic edge that reflected the chaotic nature of the song and was mesmerizing to watch. The editing is also extremely well done: offering tons of close ups, zooms, and pans while also giving you a crystal clear view of what’s going on in the dance, which is also a testament to its great choreography. The dance oozes with theatricality and has an exceptional set-piece formation that gives the “wow factor” along the likes of the human bridge in ‘Junjou U-19’ and the human pyramid in ‘Oh My God!’.

Unfortunately, the other elements such as the cinematic subplots which run through the PV don’t work well at all. While some shots are pretty and intriguing, there aren’t enough of them to feel like they’re actually stories. The result was a series discombobulated scenes that didn’t enhance the song or emotion all that much. However, I very much expect a “drama” cut of the PV that explains what’s going on, which could bring it back up to snuff if done smartly.

There aren’t very many(or any) idol songs that make me want to light a cigarette on a starry night as I think back on my bittersweet encounters with romance, but that’s exactly what this song does. Kudos, NMB48.

PV:

Song:

 

Garry:

Being one of the misinformed who thought the rather terrible “Mousou Girlfriend was the a-side of the new NMB single, I was filled with some degree of hope when I heard that this wasn’t the case. After having listened to “Virginity” and seeing the PV I can’t help but feel like I would have preferred “Mousou Girlfriend”.

The song is interesting in that the elements that make it up (instrumentals, vocals, etc) are all very well produced but don’t really seem to mesh together very well. The vocals aren’t particularly catchy or memorable but they’re not the worst I’ve ever heard either. The instrumentals on the other hand sound incredibly dated and I for one hope that this isn’t the latest trend to be dredged up by J-Pop producers. Some things really should just be consigned to the mists of time and this is certainly one of them. I kinda get that they were going for a mature sounding pop song but there are so many other (and arguably better) ways you can do this. I really question Aki-P’s judgement on this one.

I don’t even know where to begin with the PV. Let’s start with the horribly disjointed “story” moments that make little to no fucking sense what so ever. I don’t really care if they release a 5 hour extended cut J-drama epic where everything gets explained. The average person isn’t going to see that so the director failed in the most basic aspect of film; storytelling.

The saving grace of the choreography shots are that they’re well filmed. You can clearly see what’s going on so if you’re into that sort of thing then that’s neat. The setting for the dance shots however, is rather questionable. I mean a dimly lit park at night? I was expecting a rapist to jump out of the bushes and start sodomizing one of the girls at any second. I’m also not the biggest fan of the now staple setpiece stunt that they do in this PV. Sayaka walking along the other members’ backs as they kneel to form a bridge doesn’t really do much for me honestly.

I don’t know, I really like NMB but I just can’t get into this one. Maybe Aki-P is just burnt out or possibly he has realised he can effectively write anything at this point and have people buy it. Something has happened in the last year or two though and the song quality is suffering for it.

Overall this is just another “let’s make NMB look all sexy and show them doing all of this naughty adult stuff” type of PV.

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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8 comments

  1. Hm? As much as I heard NSK members not feeling this song so much, the scores given doesn’t seem strict at all.

    I like this song. Makes me wanna jump in a time-machine and go to the late 1960’s and smack a fool lol. The only complaint I have about this song is that, for some reason, something feels missing… Like the decorative frosting wasn’t put on this delicious-looking cake. And I, for one, would highly appreciate it if my cake didn’t half-ass it on giving me diabetes.

    I do wish the PV would of had a 60’s concept to it, but I guess NMB’s Akagumi already beat them to that.

    PV: 2.5/5
    Song 3.5/5

  2. It depends on how you see our star system. A 3 would be a C+/B- for me. So this one would be a C/C-. I gave this one a 2.5 because I won’t be grabbing it as soon as it is released.

  3. I still like Mousou Girlfriend better than Virginity

    • “Mousou Girlfriend” doesn’t have the instrumental strength that “Virginity” does for me. I also think “Virginity” is a tad bit catchier.

  4. When I first viewed this PV, I responded with “It seems abridged.” With all its non-performance footage jarring your enjoyment of the song, I feel its an understandable response.
    The song itself is on par with NMBs’ offerings, great brass and drums especially the *double-tap of two-high and two-low* horns. Though their performance on HEYx3 ran for about 2mins, it didn’t leave much out. However, that same live performance did not prepare me for the theatrics laid into this PV. I enjoyed Yamamoto Sayaka crossing that ‘bridge’ as much as I enjoyed using the word ‘bridge.’

    Altogether on a scale of 1 to 7, I give this PV one Yamada Nana. 3.5 for Song and 3.5 for Video.

    Thankfully, this is an abridged PV. Bring on the 30minute movie
    #BurgeonTease #Bridge

  5. Like Garry I though that ‘Mousou Girlfriend’ was the a-side at first and anyone who saw my twitter posts about it at the time cold of guessed I was less than happy.

    So it was with relie that I heard it wasnt and that there was another song, then Virginity turned up.

    Alot of thigs about Virginity I like, I like the dance, I actually like the song as well, even the PV has it’s moments, mainly for me when Yoshida Akari and Jonishi Kei are on the screen looking fantastic and the brigdge part of the song where Ogasawara Mayu goes front and center with those leans!

    But with this good, comes some bad, the PV for a start, Reo posted that there is going to be a 30 min version, but to me that makes these random scenes in the song PV even worse, if they had all that footage, why put in bits that dont make any sense or story, if there is a whole story at least try and tell all of it in the space of the 1-2 mins of time it was shown in the normal PV, just don’t add what almost seem like random bits in, I mean they have managed it in thier other PV so what happened here?

    PV aside I think my main thing in this is best quoted from what Garry wrote “Overall this is just another “let’s make NMB look all sexy and show them doing all of this naughty adult stuff” type of PV.” It’s just that something about this PV just dosnt sit right with me, yeah I mentioned about Keicchi and Akarin earlier looking great, and to me they did but it’s just the sexual aspect of this song, I just dont think it’s needed, yeah NMB has it’s ‘sexy’ members but they don’t need to give them song like this because of it, I feel like Aki-P or someone had written all these songs for SDN before they were disbanded and they didnt want to just bin them so they thought they would give them to NMB instead…..

    As for rating it, well I give the song I give it 4 out of 5 stars, I do like this song and the dance parts of the PV give it a generous 3 out of 5, as for some of the ideas if woul will behind the PV, I might be giving minus points as I see NMB as so much more that the ‘sexy idols’ the seem determined to portray them as…

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