Friday, November 16, 2012

The Idol with the Really Long Name

Okay, I'm no stranger to really complicated names. Japanese idols in general have names you'd never hear in the USA and they can be a pain to spell. It took me forever to remember whose name was spelled which way! And then you have idols like Kyarypamyupamyu, which is not only difficult to spell but also a mouthful to say. But of all the idols I have come across in my short time in the wotasphere, Naaboudoufu@nana has got to be the most confusing and convoluted name of them all. So for the sake of this my own sanity, I'm just gonna call her Nana!

Wrong Nana.

There we go! So for the mobs of you who have no idea who this lengthily named idol is, Nana came from the Internet! When I say that, I mean that she was a viral idol before Tsunku, the magnificent bastard producer of the more well-known Hello! Project decided to produce her! Apparently she's popular on the Japanese video site Nico Nico Douga which was what led to her getting picked up by a label! So yay! See? Everyone once in a while viral videos can get you a career! If you want to know anything more, feel free to consult my blogger friend Chiima over at Okay! Musume Time; she's the one who introduced me to her and can probably give you a more detailed history of this her. The only other thing I've really discovered about this Nana idol is that she's really flexible! Like she does this thing where she puts her leg in the air behind her back and she looks like a flamingo! Maybe I'll just call her the Flamingo Idol! But in all seriousness, the single we are talking about today is Nana's second single, titled Magical Lip Kiss and I assume it's about kissing with lips that are possessed by magic. But that's just going off the title. So yes, Chiima linked me the music video and I really liked it so much to her delight, I have decided to review it! So in order to get a feel of this Nana idol's style, I dug around the Interwebs to see if I could find any more information about her. What surprised was she's kind of obscure, at least on English speaking websites. I don't see any blogs about her sans Chiima's reviews and compared to other "obscure" idols, she's really obscure! I did manage to find the music video for her first single though; that one was titled Kunekune☆Bravo!! It sounds a lot like a Perfume B-side I'd hear from their indie days but it's a pretty fun song! So after listening to that song and this one, I think I get the general direction Tsunku wants to take with her music wise. Both songs sounds like typical idol songs but more in the vein of electropop.

That's right, kids. We've got an electropop song on our hands! Now don't run away just yet! This is a good electropop song!

It's a little early to categorize such a new idol but with Tsunku being so gung ho about electropop right now, I get the feeling we're going to see a lot more of this style of music coming from Nana. And personally, if this is the type of music we're going to get, I'm okay with that! I've tried to emphasize this as much as possible, but I enjoy the electropop genre! There's a lot of potential you can do in it for both the instrumentals and the vocals, something you can see in the diverse discography of Perfume's. However, one of the cons of electropop music is that a lot of it is shoehorned into forgettable catchy dance tracks that stop being catchy because they all sound alike. Luckily for Nana, this is actually an electropop song I really like! I feel like I enjoy listening to it more and more each time and for the past few days I've had it on repeat! In fact, I'm listening to it as I type this! Imagine that! Listening to the song I'm reviewing... how original! Magical Lip Kiss reminds me a lot of the old dance music you'd hear from teen idols from the nineties, a time when idols were relevant in the USA. So listening to a song reminiscent of that genre of music takes me back to the days of roller skating at the rink where all the cool kids went, and you heard this type of music all the time. I swear, I think they just played the same 10 songs over and over again but I fucking loved it. I wonder if roller skating rinks still exist... Now I'm not saying this song makes me want to go roller skating again (if I did, I'd topple over like a tree) but I get a little nostalgic listening to it. And the song is just a lot of fun to listen to; it's bouncing off the walls with energy and energy is often what makes or breaks a good song for me. So having a lot of it in a song is a super plus and only makes me like the song even more! There's also a variety of different sounds in the instrumental and I like the editing done on the vocals; it's a perfect balance of Autotune! Man, the more I talk about this song, the more enthusiastic I get about it! In fact... dare I say I like this electropop song better than Watanabe Mayu's Hikaru Monotachi? I dare say so! Everything about this song just works and I'm totally digging this idol.

So if you've bothered to create an equation of my levels of like/dislike for Mayuyu, Nana, and Kikka's respective electropop songs (because math is awesome) so far my little equation is Magical Lip Kiss>Hikaru Monotachi>Darling to Madonna. With that in mind, let's take a look at the PV of the idol with the really long name!

I could totally picture a caption saying "Ooooh, what does this thing do?" here.

Shocking! You broke it!

Ooh shiny! I'm not sure which is shinier: her outfit or the backdrop!

That backdrop looks like an upside down football-goalpost-thingy!

I love that there are so many different scenes in this PV, it's nice variety!

I swear at first glance she looked like Nakky to me but up close not so much... I think it's the hair!

There's sure a lot of pointing in this dance, maybe Nana wants YOU! to join her fandom!

YAY! MATH! Nana*5 = 5 Nanas! Yay!

Whoa! Is she creating an army just like...


Nana reminds you to use your imaaaaagination!

So should I call this her Magical Hand Heart?

Wow, these shots sure put the electro in electropop!

That's right, Nana! Embrace your inner Nikola Tesla and become one with the lightning!

Hee hee hee, I'm gonna listen to Morning Musume so I can LAUGH at them!

Aw, this move is adorable! I really like her dancing in this PV!

I think their Autotune just busted my headphones...

Yeah, the sound... or aroma of music spreads love and joy and sparkles! But not too many unlike SOME PVs.

Well hey there, spiral-y Triangle effect!

It's nice to see you being used in another PV!

Okay, you gotta admit this effect is really cool, especially when you see it in motion!

Annnnd the dance just got awkward. Word of advice: don't borrow the choreography from Dot Bikini.

I really love how expressive her eyes are, they're very pretty!

And I'll end this screencap with a Sexy Beam: Nana Style!

Now this is how you do a simple PV that's still entertaining. Take note, UFP, of the profound lack of special effects, the elimination of gratuitous sparkles, the variety in the shots. This PV probably had the same budget as One Two Three did but this one is much more entertaining!

So I think there were two things that worked to this PV advantage: 1. the visuals and 2. Nana herself. What I really liked about this PV was that there was a series of different shots and sets and angles to keep me entertained. My favorite parts were the electric lightning scenes and the very brief headphones shots because the effects were cool but they weren't overdone. In fact, I wish I had seen more of the lightning shots because it was just a really neat effect to look at, partially because of the look Nana had on her face the whole time. Other shots I thought were really fun and added to the PV were the dance scenes where Nana was multiplied to create the Nana army! I totally want a battle between the Mayuyu Army and the Nana Army now... it's a pretty simple effect that most definitely isn't new for music videos but old isn't always bad. I thought this worked quite well for Nana, especially in the dark dance shots. The bridge of the song is where this effect is used the best; the camera pans in so that it feels like this endless loop of Nanas and it's quite fun to watch! I've seen it used a lot before, especially in older music videos (once again, I'm thinking of the nineties, maybe even the eighties...). Again, that's not necessarily a bad thing because I think it really works for the PV! The best thing about the PV for Magical Lip Kiss is that although the effects were cool, there weren't so many that I felt like I was being overloaded with them. It also helped that there was a nice variety of different scenes and sets; I think I counted like 4 or 5 different areas in the PV... But I really liked that! It kept me interested and the PV was fun to watch despite the lack of a storyline! See? I don't always need a storyline to like a PV!

Now the other thing I really liked about this PV was Nana herself. I don't know why but there's just something about her that really keeps me watching. I wouldn't say she has an outgoing personality but she really knows how to carry herself in a way that you want to watch her. My only disappointment is that I kind of wanted her to do that flamingo thing she does but no... not flamingo flexibility today. But the dance was nice, a little repetitive but overall very strong. I liked it best in the chorus and the only part I felt a little awkward watching was that one move in the bridge where Nana pulls a Dot Bikini on us and does the arm jerking move S/mileage did in that horrendous PV. It's often hard for a solo artist to catch my attention in the PV but Nana did! Her reactions to the lightning were particularly funny and I almost wish there were more close-ups of her because she seems to have a lot of fun doing PVs like this! Her personality combined with the look and feel of this PV is what won me over. Nana seems to have a lot of promise as an idol and I really hope that I'm going to see more of her in the future. Of course, I should probably thank Chiima for linking this to me otherwise I'd still be sitting at my desk wistfully waiting for Perfume to release something! So overall, I'll give Nana's second song...

It's two in the morning and I'm in a generous mood so Magical Lip Kiss gets 4.5 out of 5 apples. I know electropop isn't for everyone, but I'd check this song out. Hell, I'd check this idol out. The song is catchy as hell, the PV's fun to watch, Nana is adorable, what's not to like? I'll be waiting to see what this girl pulls next! For how long will I have to wait? I have no idea...


  1. LOL This is like bad AVEX meets UFA

    1. Well, she is produced by Tsunku who works for UFA... Personally, I like Nana but everyone has their own opinions!