Countdown! The Top 100 Hello! Project PVs


Welcome to yet another installment of Kawaiirrhea Goes on a Rampage and Invokes Left and Right the Names of Topic After Topic That Should Never Be Mentioned in Connection with Hello! Project.


Berryz Koubou – Special Generation (2005)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Magaino Kouji / PICCOLO TOWN

If this PV had a plot, it would probably involve a voyage to the distant realm of the light-fairies, who mine light-flakes from the ether on which their island capital floats. Our eight protagonists happen upon an unguarded stockpile of light-flakes, and succumbing to their craving for all things shiny, make off with a handful of the stuff, hoping no one would notice. But alas, Noether’s theorem catches up with them, and ultimately, their violation of the law of conservation of light-flakes results in a cataclysmic shattering of some differentiable symmetry of life, the universe, and everything. Pirates would also be involved somehow.

Since this PV has no plot, however, I’m forced to produce one myself:

This is a plot of f(x) = -x/e^x, a function that can be derived from this PV.

How, you ask?

Well, given that the title is “Special Generation”, one is of course tempted to produce a generating function from this PV. Furthermore, as it clearly says “Special”, we cannot simply use an ordinary generating function. So let us try an exponential generating function.

A generating function encodes a sequence of numbers by making each term the coefficient of a term in a (possibly infinite) summation. So if we’re given a sequence an, we can produce an exponential generating function

f(x) = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} a_n x^n / n!

Now what sequence of numbers are we supposed to use?



I think the choreography is trying to tell us something. Consider this formation to be representative of the first eight terms in a sequence of numbers approximately equal to the displacement of each member from the center, going from front to back. This looks like an alternating linearly diverging sequence. For simplicity, we can let a_n = (-1)^n n, so the first eight terms are 0, -1, 2, -3, 4, -5, 6, and -7. Close enough, ね?

OK, plugging this in, we get

f(x) = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} \frac{a_n x^n}{n!} = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty}\frac{(-1)^n n x^n}{n!} = -xe^{-x}

and we are done. How this function is relevant to anything remains a mystery.

Of course, all that aside, probably the most amazing thing about this PV is that it fools you into thinking it’s in widescreen.


Maeda Yuki – Nishi Shinjuku de Atta Hito (2004)
Tagami Mikiko / Yoshikawa Kei / Magaino Kouji / PICCOLO TOWN

The darker counterpart to all those H!P videos featuring cartoony backdrops. Here we have instead a bleak dissection of contemporary urban life, reduced to motionless two-dimensional black-and-white scenes of the superficial in inaction. Kinda depressing actually.


Morning Musume。 – AS FOR ONE DAY (2003)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Suzuki Daichi Hideyuki / zetima

I could discuss the symbolism of water and rain and its relation to the passing of a single day.

I could speculate about the significance of Ishikawa’s lock-and-key earring.

And I could talk about the fish.

But when it all boils down to it, Aichan simply steals the show with the Takahashi Kawaiirrhea-Inducing Stare of Spellbinding Cuteness™ (patent pending):



^_^ ~eek!~



*giggles* *squeals*


Ahem. Moving on…


Berryz Koubou – Happiness ~Koufuku Kangei!~ (2004)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Suzuki Shunsuke / PICCOLO TOWN

Next up, another Berryz video. Like I’ve said before, trains are the shiznit. And this one not only features a train, it plunks the viewer down in the middle of a lazy Susan for some angular momentum-conserving rotation transformation action (SO(2)! Represent!!).

It’s all about the reference frames. And as though trains and lazy Susans aren’t enough to make the point, the screen is also not-so-subtly framed by a border, to reinforce the viewer’s frame of reference even as it’s being casually thrown about, narrowly missing getting splattered with food as Berryz disregard all the rules of tableside etiquette they ever learned.

(Also, if someone can explain to me the meaning of the symbol that shows up in the bottom right corner at the end, I’d appreciate it. Maybe it adds another layer to this whole thing.)

EDIT: After a year of being perplexed, I’ve discovered that this is the double happiness symbol: 囍. Very interesting.


Mini Moni。 – Mini。 Strawberry Pie (2002)
Tsunku / Tsunku / Sakai Mikio / zetima

What is it with food and reference frames? Here we have StrawberryCam, which follows a rabbit head-shaped tray of sliced strawberries around the kitchen. Mmm…. delicious. Giant fruits, dimension-breaking mixing of 2-D characters and 3-D environments, senseless repetition of the same couple of words over and over and over again…

A classic archetype of the Just Because Mini Moni Can Recklessly Horseplay in the Kitchen Without Impaling or Incinerating Themselves Doesn’t Mean You Too Should Try This at Home, Kids genre.