Countdown! The Top 100 Hello! Project PVs




Kira☆Pika – Futari wa NS (2007)
YumYum / MenMen / Miyanaga Jirou / zetima

This video is bursting with physics symbolism. I’m serious. I think I’m going to give it the second Award for Excellence in Unabashed Geekitude. Wha~?!! you say? You were expecting that to go to Kira☆Pika’s other magnum opus? Well, yes, I will give that monsterpiece an award when the time comes. I just haven’t fully dissected it yet and don’t want to hand out a premature award.

In fact, I haven’t fully dissected “Futari wa NS”‘s physics awesomeness either. So I’ll postpone the actual award and just comment on the artistic aspects of the PV now.

Minimalist videos don’t usually work for me, but this one captivates in subtle ways. The bright but gentle lighting, the careful exploration of perspective and focus in the absence of a concrete background, the use of oversized props that beg to be given a chance…

Hey, it works.


Morning Musume。 – THE Manpower!!! (Another Edition) (2005)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Matsubara Ken / zetima

As I’ve discussed previously, this video and its alter ego marked the end of Morning Musume’s triumphant Transcendental Era and cast the group into an epoch of darkness from which it is currently trying to escape, though I’m not sure how the descriptions I’ve read of “Resonant Blue” fit in with this picture. We’ll have to wait and see.

The so-called main version of “THE Manpower!!!”, really a dance-shot in disguise, deserves no praise whatsoever. However, this “Another Edition” seems to be commenting on the Fall of MoMusu at the same time it instigates it. Compared to the radiant innocence of its predecessor “Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago”, “THE Manpower!!!” launches us into utter darkness, bathed in cataclysmic lyrics like

Change the future! The past is the past

Change indeed. But really, this future isn’t looking so bright, is it?

And, oh, the mythological allusions. Here we have fire, the gift of Prometheus to humanity, which in Hesiod’s version of the myth results in Zeus exacting revenge by sending Pandora to unleash pain, suffering, disease, and a host of other unpleasant things. And of course, the eating of various fruits and vegetables echoes Genesis’s account of humanity’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Indeed, the title and lyrics concern a (re)birth of humanity, and the overall song and PV do seem to focus on the darker aspects of such an event, so it is oddly fitting that the group itself, with this release, descends into the very darkness it forecasts.

On a side note, the size of the planet depicted is interesting. The feasibility of a breathable atmosphere aside, in order to maintain Earth-like gravity, we would need the mass of the body to be about 3.3 * 1013 kg, from Newton’s law of universal gravitation:

F = \frac{GMm}{r^2}

(setting gravitational acceleration F/m to 9.8 m/s2 and the radius r to be at most 15 m, judging from the first shot, measured against MoMusu’s average height)

Assuming uniform density, this would give it a density of 2.3 * 109 kg/m3, approximately as dense as a white dwarf, which achieves its compactness from electron degeneracy. Interesting.

Degeneracy indeed.


Matsuura Aya – Ne~e? (2003)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Konishi Takao / zetima

In what is probably Hello! Project’s most colorful PV, Matsuura demonstrates that keeping a miniature automaton version of yourself around for entertainment or fashion advice may not be such a great idea if you lock it up, as it might gain the ability to control your emotions without your knowing it.


W – Miss Love Tantei (2005)
Morimura Mera / JOEY CARBONE, STEVEN LEE / MOTO G3 / zetima

In an effort to unravel The Mystery of Who Smuggled the Footprints Into the Museum, amateur sleuths W seek inspiration from dichromatic monoliths, confer with themselves in quadruplicate (for twice the brainpower?), experiment with quantum teleportation in and out of crates and barrels, and combine their powers in an attempt to summon Captain Planet … only to discover that the carbon atoms in the footprints have arranged themselves into a diamond. The dog probably did it.


Country Musume。 ni Konno to Fujimoto (Morning Musume。) – Senpai ~LOVE AGAIN~ (2003)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Hirata Shouichirou / zetima

Dark, mysterious, Gothic video evoking dark, mysterious, Gothic images full of darkness, mysteriousness, and Gothicness, like the kind of stuff Jane Austen satirized in Northanger Abbey, complete with a dark, mysterious, Gothic forest.

Five friends retreat to a secluded spot in the forest to escape from the stresses of contemporary life, only to find themselves marionetted by the strings of fate as the world around them fragments into a collage of shattered images. What’s real, and what’s only self-referential meta-reality? Oh, the horror.