“Yarakai Heart”: The Heart-making Industry is Booming.

My relationship with Idoling!!! is a complex one.  I love them on their variety show, but always found their songs to be… “suitable”.  It’s not great, but not “bad”.  It’s upbeat and idol-y, but by the end of an Idoling!!! song I feel like I’ve been listening to it forever and have no desire to play it again.  Maybe I find them repetitive or too simplistic. I also found that a number of their songs cannibalize parts from their previous entries, which could add to the feeling of “I heard this before” I usually have with Idoling!!! songs. Whatever it is, I’m not a big fan of their discography.

So obviously, I wouldn’t find myself excited about an upcoming Idoling!!! release; what I usually feel instead, is apprehension.  “I hope I’ll like this one” is how I usually feel before I start listening to their latest entry.  Having heard and seen their newest release, ‘Yarakai Heart’, I still have the same mixed feelings about Idoling!!!, but hey, at least they’re not getting any worse, right?

I did enjoy the chorus and lines in this song, but like a lot of their songs, it ended up feeling overplayed and tiresome by the end. It’s the average length for an idol song(between 4-5 minutes), but by the last chorus I felt like I’d been looping the song for a half hour.

Whether it was merited or not, what immediately came to mind within watching the first 10 seconds of the PV was ‘Valentine Kiss’. The premise of the video is a group of girls building hearts in an assembly-line fashion; guess the idea is pretty popular. While content-wise, this music video has more interesting things going on in it than ‘Eve’, other elements remain the same that bog it down. The thing that bugs me the most is how static many of the shots seem.

You’ll notice that nearly every single shot of the PV, whether it’s a solo shot, dance shot, or assembly-line shot, the camera remains completely still. There’s a barely-noticeable use of zoom during the dance shots and one camera pan, but that was all. Not to force a comparison, but for the sake of example, look at Watarirouka 7’s ‘Valentine Kiss’ and see how the camera utilizes zooms, pans, and moves in most of their shots. It’s such a small thing, but when it’s gone you can sense that something is missing. The shots of ‘Yarakai Kiss’ also repeat themselves several times, and while they may have been done on purpose, it doesn’t help their case.

David had said before that one of his biggest criticisms about Idoling!!! was their choreography, and how simple they were. The choreography moves in ‘Yarakai Kiss’ are an improvement, but from just seeing the PV it looks like the choreographer is missing the bigger picture. More than 90% of the dance shots in the PV have the girls dancing in the same place; the formation the girls are in are stagnant and unmoving. Maybe in the full choreography there’s more movement and shifting going on, but the parts they give us are ultimately boring and static. I’ve been following Suzuka Morita (my favorite member) in all the dance scenes, and she’s in the exact same spot in every single shot. I was expecting more general movement in the formation, which would have added some much needed dynamism in the PV.

I sound like I’m completely hating on this PV, but I assure you, I don’t hate Idoling!!! or this release as much as it sounds like I am. I’m just trying to figure out for myself what makes a great PV, and what makes one more interesting to watch than another.

My criticisms aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, but it looks like I’ll have to wait longer before I finally find that great Idoling!!! release I’ve been wanting.

‘Yarakai Heart’
Releases March 2nd, 2011


About Dae Lee

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

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