My last post has apparently sparked a “laugh riot” of a debate that’s now more than three times as long as my original post. If you haven’t seen it yet, you may find it worth reading. Or maybe not.
As always, I appreciate your feedback, positive or negative. It’s always good to know how effective my communication is.
And now, on to the next batch:
10nin Matsuri – Dancing! Natsu Matsuri (2001)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Konishi Takao / zetima
Bizarre, eclectic video that explores the fusion of traditional Japanese culture and modern technological developments, with lots of fire, fireworks, and fish.
Like the #81 video on the countdown, this PV is also a meta-work. Though not a meta-video, as it is not about video itself, the PV does embrace the conventions of theater and presents the set as a theatrical set. In so doing, it exemplifies meta-theater.
The giant fish inspires me to quote in its entirety the following chapter from William Faulkner’s 1930 novel As I Lay Dying, not because this PV shares any of the characteristics of the Southern Gothic genre, but just cuz I wanna, y’know?
My mother is a fish.
It’s tough being a part of Western literature’s most dysfunctional family since the Clan of Atreus.
Goto Maki – Te wo Nigitte Arukitai (2002)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Konishi Takao / zetima
Gocchin teaches kids the Latin alphabet, which consists entirely of the letters E and C, in that order, and also explains the importance of holding hands, because whenever you acquire a new disease, you should always remember to share the wealth.
Also, in contrast to Mikan, this PV displays an artificially discrete ROYGBIV* rainbow, which is clearly not circular as it is narrower at the top than on the side and which also appears from the same general direction as the sun. I might quibble with this portrayal and say that it violates physics, but who am I argue with Maki Goto? I’m just some disgruntled blogger.
Gocchin’s right, of course, and that anthropomorphic tree would probably agree, but it looks too shocked by the truth to say anything. Yes. This is the way the world works, kids. If some figure of supposed authority tries to tell you otherwise, you know what to tell them. An “Ai~n!” gesture to go with it probably wouldn’t hurt either.
* Blast you, Isaac Newton! Harmony with the music of the spheres or whatever is not a good reason to stick in an extra color or two. See what happens when people take your idea and run with it? Egad. ROYGBIV rainbows should not have the seven colors equally spaced.
Fujimoto Miki – Sotto Kuchizukete Gyutto Dakishimete (2002)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Watanabe Cher / hachama
Another meta-work of sorts. This one explores the nature and presentation of art, giving us a tour of an art gallery. The way it subtly plays with color, lighting, and perspective seems to suggest that the PV itself is absorbing and retransmitting the art it’s showing us and posing the question of what is art and in what ways the video itself is art.
Also, I find the scene with Miki being ambushed by a horde of balloon-wielding kids to be one of the most surreal moments in H!P PV history.
As a side note, the pink dress seems to be inspired by Piet Mondrian’s earlier work, particularly Composition with Gray and Light Brown (1918):
This monochromatic style precedes the “Mondrianchromatic” mode for which Mondrian is famous (and which H!P later adopted for part of Berryz Koubou’s 2007 Sakura Mankai concert tour).
Morning Musume。 – Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari (2004)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Suzuki Daichi Hideyuki / zetima
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m fascinated by trains.
This surreal PV transforms the transportational nature of a train into a journey into the depths of the human psyche. Just who exactly is the person sitting next to you? What kind of alter egos do they have? And could they possibly *gasp* be a member of the same musical group as you?
Kind of reminds me of Geoff Ryman’s experimental hypertext novel 253, which explores the common histories of random strangers on a subway train.
And of course, the excessive repetition of the external scenes seen through the windows is hilarious.
Berryz Koubou – Fighting Pose wa Date ja nai! (2004)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Takahashi Yuichi / PICCOLO TOWN
After struggling to answer the Ultimate Question
You are "CELEB" or NOT??
by brandishing sports equipment, goofy expressions, and articles of furniture (or rather, struggling to characterize the decision algorithm for said question), Berryz Koubou find themselves thwarted by the computational complexity of PCELEB and decide to forgo the services of this oracle machine* and indulge in poolside Vogue reading instead.
Not the choice I would make, but then again, I’m a computer science major.
* Technical clarification: P is the class of languages decidable in polynomial time. The oracle in this case presumably takes in an input string and decides in constant time whether the string is in the language CELEB. The oracle machine is the one seen in the video; it scans a visual input, converts it into a string, feeds the string to the CELEB oracle, and displays CLEAR!!! if the oracle accepts the string or NOT CLEAR!! if the oracle rejects the string. PCELEB is the class of languages decidable in polynomial time with the use of a CELEB oracle, which is the class of languages decidable in polynomial time with the use of this specific oracle machine, assuming it’s efficient at interacting with the oracle. To say that Berryz Koubou are thwarted by the complexity of PCELEB means that relationship of PCELEB to more well-established complexity classes is unclear. If CELEB is NP-complete, for example, then it follows that NP is a subclass of PCELEB, so this is quite a complex class. On the other hand, suppose CELEB is the same as the set of all strings, which it clearly is not, as it is shown to reject some inputs. Then the oracle would pretty much be useless, as this language is decidable in constant time, so in this case, PCELEB = P, and less complex (assuming P does not equal NP, which is still the biggest open problem in complexity theory). Of course, the actual nature of CELEB is unclear, so Berryz are quite understandably perplexed.