Not A Home Run, But Still A Double

A hit is a hit. And even though we might be disappointed that it’s not the huge success that we all hope for, bit by bit we take steps towards the right direction.

It wasn’t until recently that I sat down and took some time with S/mileage’s Short Cut PV. And while others may see it as a uneventful trip to the moon, I’m enjoying my time rediscovering the simpler things.

Sure, I’ve been to the moon before. Morning Musume danced on it with the Manpower PV. The marking the territory with a flag is not anything new since it was done by MM in Koko ni Iruze! So why is Short Cut standing out to me?

Well, here are the things that I feel they’ve done right.

-Capturing the Dance Moves-
It doesn’t really matter how simplistic or dorky the choreography is, as long as you make it infectious. If it fits the song and you get people to recall it while listening, then you’ve done your job. The high hand wave, followed by the back steps, and then finished off with the air poking, it works for this video.

-Defining S/mileage-
More and more I’m seeing S/mileage create an identity for themselves. They’re this upbeat bouncy set of girls with tight but simple choreography. Their poofy skirts are memorable as are they leggy dances moves. Bringing this familiarity to the table for each iteration is taking the right steps. You get people loving something and used to it, and then take steps to break boundaries.

-Defining the Music-
If there’s one thing that makes me worry about S/mileage it’s their music. With these four girls, you don’t have any problems trying to sell cute or their image, but can you create a song that embodies the idol culture while not discriminating the mainstream listener. With the cuteness of a group like this, I think it’s very easy to fall into an overload of girlish pop and scare some people off. Notice with Short Cut, there’s no bells or whistles or horns. That’s a good thing. Also I’d prefer they stay away from the girl punk music. I get what producers are trying to do with that style, but I say leave the rock to the people who can actually play instruments. Idol Air Guitar is not always attractive.

Normally I’d end by saying things like this is a good showing from UFA. This shows potential. I hope they keep this momentum going. But I think we’re past that point. So here’s stuff you can work on for next time.

It’s called Short Cut, as in girls with short hair. How do you take four of the most cute girls in the Idol Business and make them look plain. There’s something missing. Either you didn’t go short enough or you have problems in make up because those girls pretty much sell themselves.

And second…Why are they playing volleyball with moon rocks? Doesn’t that take you a bit out of the experience? My first though, OMG, are they gonna be ok? That’s going to hurt. Followed by…WAIT A MINUTE, THOSE AREN’T REAL ROCKS! Then you totally lost the illusion of it being on the moon for me.


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