Baka Tono-sama to Mini Moni-hime。 – Ai~n Taisou (2002)
Tomonaga Hiroyuki / Takashima Akihiko / Konishi Takao / zetima
Deliriously mind-warping PV that explores geography, the passage of time, crazy hairstyles (and affirms that the more obviously fake a wig is, the more fashionable it is to wear in public), and the importance of repeating the empowerment mantra “Ai~n!”
Seriously, next time someone puts me down, I’m going to say “Ai~n!” to their face, complete with slicing hand motion, crossed eyes, and distorted facial features. That should tell them a thing or two.
The meaning of the word is unimportant, but Wikipedia’s guess is as good as any.
Morning Musume。 – Happy Summer Wedding (2000)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Dance☆Man, Kawamatsu Hisayoshi / zetima
As I mentioned in my last post, this video signaled the beginning of the Transcendental Era of Morning Musume, the period in which the best of MoMusu’s music and PVs were released. While not as spectacular as some of the MoMusu videos to follow, this one introduced a number of essential elements that differentiated it from the bizarre but underwhelming videos that preceded it.
Coinciding with the arrival of the 4th generation, we see a shift from pure weirdness to cute quirkiness. The use of color and set transitions also shows a remarkable change, as is the improvement in costume choice.
But most importantly, we see the inclusion of a self-consistent setting which brings to life an underlying narrative. While “LOVE Machine” and “Koi no Dance Site” brought viewers to bizarre scenes infused with cheap-looking special effects, those settings were nothing more than a façade constructed to showcase the outrageousness of the video. The eye-burning pink-saturated space station and the exotic desert palace just weren’t real. In “Happy Summer Wedding”, however, the setting feels as though someone could actually live there, that there is more to the milieu than what we see in the short span of a few minutes, that this place has a story to tell.
SALT5 – GET UP! Rapper (2003)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Suzuki Daichi Hideyuki / zetima
This mock-serious video is a classic, and one of the funniest videos Hello! Project has ever released. Full of unexpected surprises and kooky moments.
I particularly like Aya’s “sit-ups” and their image under a coordinate transformation.
Berryz Koubou – Waracchaou yo BOYFRIEND (2006)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Suzuki Shunsuke / PICCOLO TOWN
Catchy retro-’60s-ish tune meets simple computer-generated backdrops, and the result proves thoroughly enjoyable.
A pleasure to watch over and over again.
Morning Musume。 Tanjou 10nen Kinentai – Itoshiki Tomo e (2007)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Takahashi Yuichi / zetima
One of the creepiest Hello! Project videos to date, though it probably doesn’t come across that way unless you pay really close attention. It’s the subtle details that matter: the chairs in disarray, the flashes of light from an invisible camera, the unusually heavy amount of light (for a rainy overcast day) that pours through in some shots, the fact that the lighting umbrellas are facing the wrong direction…
Oh, and that not-so-subtle glass suspended in midair.
This mansion is haunted.