Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Unconventional Side of Bikini PVs: BiS

I promised I'd come back! And so I figured I'd do it with the zaniest, quirkiest, most fascinating idol group on the market right now. Move over MomoClo, Super Girls, Fairies, etc! We're talking about Brand-new Idol Society again.

BiS at its normalest.

I talked about and analyzed this group before in another post and how I really don't know what to think of them. Part of me wants to cheer them on for defying the standards most idols are held to by doing the polar opposite from heavy metal songs, artsy-nude PVs, videotaping their throats with a handheld, etc. And yet I still think that it's mostly gimmicky and an attempt to draw in fans with their nonconformity thus boosting the sales of the group and making $$$. Who knows? Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe they thoroughly throw themselves into the concept because it's an image they really want to portray. But like I said, I suspect it's mostly for show... But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them. Ever since listening to My Ixxx I've been tentatively following them not sure if they'd stick around long enough to be picked up by a major label. What with the graduations, the inner-group conflicts, and the shitty management I was actually expecting a disbandment sooner or later. But then Avex came along and the rest is... well, in-the-progress of making history! Yes, with two new members and a major label, the little amount of fans they have all speculated on how this would affect the group. Would it help draw in the mainstream crowd? Would that happen at the cost of their crazy, non-idol image? Would their debut even surface? Well, we still don't know how the sales and general public reactions will be but after listening to PPCC, I can safely say the BiS we all know and love (or hate!) is definitely still here.

For those who don't follow this group (and are somehow still reading this...), PPCC is the debut single for the group under a major label, that being Avex. I guess you could loosely consider it a "summer song" but only because of the PV but we'll get to that later. When I first heard the previews (and the... odd videos that came with it) for PPCC, I was slightly bemused but mostly unimpressed. It was just the group shouting some Engrish and then the song's title, cheerleader style. And I hate cheerleaders! The videos were also strange, but nothing too surprising. It was actually more of a relief since they showed how BiS still had there quirky style and hadn't been remade by Avex. When a longer preview of the actual song came out, that was the time when I actually started wanting to hear the whole song. From the minute-and-a-half preview, the song sounded like the usual fare from BiS which isn't a bad thing: fun, catchy rock-pop. Think Primal but a little more upbeat. And now that I've heard the whole song, I can honestly say I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. The chorus is the part that stick out the most to me, maybe because it was the first snippet of the song I heard and it's definitely the catchiest part of the song. Hell, I pretty much had the chorus on loop before the full song came out! While the verses are much slower and can drag in a few parts, the chorus is fast paced which is what makes it so upbeat and enjoyable! I do wish the whole song could maintain the same pace as the chorus but even if not, the fast parts are crazy and hectic enough that I still love the debut song anyways! It's also relieving to know that just because BiS is under a major label doesn't mean they're sacrificing their style of music!

However, a BiS song isn't crazy enough without the bat-shit crazy PV that tends to come with it. So how does this one hold up compared to the others in terms of craziness?

It was a bleak and foggy day when our heroes, BiS...

...decided to face off an angry mob of biker dudes/thugs?

Say, is this Iikubo Haruna's nonconformist twin?

I get the feeling this question won't be answered but what do a bunch of thugs have against five idols? I'm curious...

Okay, that guy in the black shirt and glasses is just creepy.

I like the new logo!

The kinda-sorta-not really ultimate idol showdown!

And so the fight begins!

But before that, they have to suit up! Or... strip down in this case.

I present to you... FANSERVICE. Complete, total fanservice.

Though I will admit it's clever using school swimsuits in lieu of bikinis. Definitely different from the usual bikini PV!

For some reason, this girl reminds me of another girl in some K-pop group I probably don't care about.


It's amazing how they all synchronized their running in slow motion!

Seriously, what did BiS do to piss all these people off? Do they represent conformity or something?

I don't think the fists of a small, teenage girl are exactly knocking that guy down...

But who cares? I love fight scenes!

And for some reason, every time I see this girl fall it's hilarious. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

Nothing like blood and guts in idol PVs!

I knew it! BiS is made up of VAMPIRES!

So this is where the song promos connect to the PV... great?


Are they still running!? At this rate, the fog will clear up and they'll run out of budget to finish the PV!

I'd be lying if I said those bats weren't strangely badass.

Well ouch. I pity the person who gets hit with that.

So... Bats+spiky nails = exploding heads?

I want to bask in the awfulness of this effect!

Not a bad beat-down for five girls in school bathing suits.

Okay, that is a pretty badass shot to leave us with.

Well, the PV was definitely different. And nonconformist. What a shock from Brand-new Idol Society! They've totally never done this before! Actually, they haven't. At least not this specific kind of PV. Really it's just another wacky, out-there PV to add to the pile. However, that isn't exactly a bad thing. Despite the fact that I now expect something weird from every BiS PV I see, I do like this one. I think what I like most about it is the fact that it's kind of a middle finger to all the cutesy bikini PVs coming out this summer. BiS takes the typical swimsuit-idols playing happily on or by the water and twists it into something that defies the stereotype. Instead of fanservice-y bikinis, they have more conservative school swimsuits (still fanservice-y but it's not quite as obvious). The PV doesn't take place on a bright, sunny day in the summer but a dark, foggy evening. Substitute the sparkling waters of the beach for the murky water next to a dock and you have a somewhat clever parody of one of the most infamous idol cliches. And I really like it. Unlike IDOL which was a little too blatant in showing how like un-idoly BiS was, this was a lot more subtle which only made me appreciate it even more. And it's nice that the group was given a budget for once and didn't have to resort to shoving handheld video cameras down their throats. The overall atmosphere of the PV matches the song nicely and it's always fun to see a good old fight scene! It was a simple storyline but I wonder if it the angry mob of thugs represents something more? Like maybe, they symbolize the conformists attempting to hold back BiS but the group manages to defeat them and go on being themselves! Or maybe I'm over thinking it as usual... Well, no matter how complex the PV is it was a lot of fun to watch!

But the PV definitely isn't perfect. I think one of the biggest problems with it is the pacing. A lot of the shots, particularly the showdown between BiS and the thugs, were slowed down but doing so just dragged them out. And once they finally did speed up to the fight scene, I found the payoff to be a little lackluster. I thought I was going to see hardcore butt-kicking! I didn't expect some pitiful kicks and punches for fifteen seconds! The running, while intense just got old after awhile and the fight scene went by in the blink of an eye. Then we cut straight to fanservice in the form of BiS cleaning their wounds via licking each other like cats. I do like how that explains how the hell that one promo linked to the PV but that doesn't mean I liked it. I thought it was far too fanservice-y. Then again, I'm not exactly the target audience for stuff like this so maybe the wotas will like it? I have to keep in mind that despite the cool concepts, rockish songs, and fascinating image, BiS is still an idol group. It's only natural that they work in fanservice. And maybe that's why other people dislike them: because under all that edginess and nonconformity, they're still here to sell. That's probably the main reason why Avex picked them up: their marketability. But you know what? If this is what sells, then I am completely okay with that. Because even if BiS is creating this whole schtick to generate sales, I still enjoy their music and the crazy video! Sometimes I think it's better to look past the image and focus on the music. And for BiS, that's the easiest way for me to look at them. Ignoring the image and loving the music because let me tell you, their music's pretty awesome. I hope you take them far, Avex.


  1. For some reason, I feel like this is the direction that AKB should have gone in with their PV for Manatsu no Sounds Good - dark and edgy, with some fanservice that isn't over the top - of course they ruined that with the bikini scenes and made me ultimately hate the video xD BiS win for not conforming!

    1. Oh my god, you're right! That would have been an AWESOME PV for Manatsu! But in the end we just got the shitty gratuitous bikini shots... Oh well, at least BiS is still willing to do subtle fanservice