Tuesday, December 11, 2012

BiS and Dorothy Little Happy Are Gonna Get You!

A month ago, it was announced that idol groups Brand-new Idol Society and Dorothy Little Happy would be collaborating on a single entitled Get You. Who thought this would happen? I mean seriously, who in the hell would have ever thought this would happen? I didn't! Then again, an idol group like BiS does seem to have knack for coming up with the curviest curveballs to throw at us! As for Dorothy Little Happy... I know squat about them but let's talk about this odd collaboration!

I really didn't see this coming; I didn't even know these two groups were under the same label! These two idols are just about as different as you can get. On one end, you have Dorothy Little Happy, a group I only know about thanks to the fact that Ishida Ayumi used to be one of their backup dancers. I did some research (aka I watched every video I could find) and they're... okay, I guess. Personally, I found their music to be really boring. I'd never follow them but they're pretty much your run-of-the-mill idol group. On the other end is BiS and they're known for being "unconventional" and doing things like filming nude PVs, holding 24-hour lives, selling their cleaning services on the Internet, and generally doing their best to shake up the idol world. They're kind of like Momoiro Clover Z if MomoClo turned to the dark side. I've never been a huge fan of BiS' PVs (save of PPCC) even though their music is freaking awesome so I did wonder how a collaboration would turn out. Would the groups be too different to merge successfully? If the other group was more hardcore in terms of idol-ness (I'm thinking again of Momoiro Clover Z), then I could definitely see some interesting stuff but from what I've seen of DLH, they're a pretty average idol group. I don't see any real gimmicks or defining traits; they exist to please their fanbase and please their fanbase they shall. Aside from the leading A-side, the two B-sides on the BiS/DLH single are actually covers of their own songs. So DLH will be covering the BiS' nerve and BiS will be covering DLH s Sayonara demo. Now I'm certain the nerve cover will be fine as nerve is a pretty hard song to really screw over. What interests me is how BiS is going to cover Sayonara demo and what kind of spin they'll put on it to fit their image. I listened to the song and it's pretty generic so at this point, I'm highly intrigued as to how a BiS version would sound! I'm actually strongly considering doing a single review of this because I do want to talk about how each cover turns out. But I'll save that for a future post because today we're going to talk about the A-side in question!

So when I first read the title of the song, the first thing that came into my mind was "One way or another, I'm gonna find you, I'm gonna GET YOU GET YOU GET YOU GET YOU!!!" That is a pretty hopping song but I didn't think this BiS/DLH song was going to sound like Blondie that much. If anything, I thought maybe it would be sort of a blend of idol pop and alternative. Not sure how that would turn out but I was hoping it would be interesting! I was also a little worried the song wouldn't find a good balance and one group's sound would wash out the other (like the BiS sound overpowering the DLH sound and vice-versa). The song instantly grabbed me with the opening chorus, especially with the repetition of "Get You" and the nice sounding melody. Unfortunately, I don't like the verses as much as I like the chorus. I wouldn't say they're bad but the verses didn't keep me as interested as the chorus and I started paying more attention toward the buildup toward the chorus. I admit, bits and pieces have grown on me but it'll probably be a few weeks before I enjoy the song on an equal level for every part! I think the best way I can describe Get You is that it's very... light? Even then, that doesn't feel like the right word to describe it but the song sounds like it's sort of drifting through the air, if you know what I mean. It's a very strange kind of pretty and I do enjoy the song more and more with every listen! It was a good median for two extremes of idol groups to meet. It has some BiS quirkiness but doesn't reach Idol Is Dead levels and the song is most definitely an idol song but not too idol-y. I've always enjoyed the diverse vocals in BiS and I couldn't help but wonder how they would blend with a group like DLH. Well, honestly... there really isn't much blending in this song. Sure, there are plenty of solos from both groups but they hardly ever sing together. During the parts where the vocals are blended, it feels a little bit like BiS has more vocal dominance but I think that's because their voices are just so different from DLH. Thanks to the split vocals, it feels more like the song is sort of this... lyrical conversation. Then again, I'm just going off the sound since I speak about as much Japanese as a whale.

Overall, those are just nit-picky details because I really do enjoy this song! I like the flow a lot and the chorus has a very catchy hook that keeps me listening! It's a very nice collaboration and I think it has both groups step out of their comfort zones. But the real test is the PV... what in the hell could happen with two extremely different idols in the same video together? Well... lots of physical violence! Onto the screencap!

Here we have Dorothy Little Happy, a group I will probably never care about.

It's the BiS Invasion; I wonder if there's going to be like some idol showdown or something!

With those hats on they kind of look like elves though...

Helloooo sparkles! You're not going to go crazy and turn into the One Two Three sparkles, right? Right!?

Yufu!! I love Yufu, she's probably my favorite in BiS and she looks so lovely in this close-up!

Oh hi, physical violence! Fancy seeing you show up in this PV!

Whoa, what's up with that look? You got beef with BiS or something!?

Man, death glares all around... Let the idol showdown begin!

Oh my god, I swear this girl looks just like Ayano from Tokyo Girls' Style. It's surreal O_o.

I admit, my least favorite part of the song is the rap/talking with style bits but luckily they're pretty short!

So I guess this is the violent version of rock-paper-scissors... I'm not surprised it didn't catch on!

Look at her face! She's practically gleeful that she gets to cause pain to others!

Of course a slap from Pour Lui wiped that grin right off her face.

And here's another violent children's game!

I think it's the way her hair's parted but the DLH girl really reminds me of Yamabe Miyu from again, Tokyo Girls' Style!

So are Wacky and Mitchel in like... hell or something? Because that's what the background reminds me of!

God, I think Dorothy Little Happy is more violent than BiS!

Ouch. Poor Wacky... that's gotta hurt!

This sure is one odd children's game...

Okay, DLH girl, you are having way too much fun inflicting pain on other people!

I just wanna give everyone a hug and tell them to get along and make cake or something!

I will say, this is probably the "prettiest" I've seen BiS look. The styling looks less grungy and intentionally messy than usual!

My, don't you look very... pissed off.

And so does Mitchel! I don't know why but she kinda looks like Mikiko (Perfume's choreographer) in this shot...

You know, I wonder if the slaps used in this PV are genuine or just stage combat.

Because everyone looks like they're in pain! Maybe these idols are just good actors...

Not gonna lie, Yufu kind of looks like a witch in this shot. I blame the hat.

So when they say "Get you" I can't help but wonder what exactly they're referring to. Are they going to get you a Coke or something?

Nozomi! Where the hell has she been this whole PV!? I swear this is the only shot I've seen of her outside the group shot!

Aggressive, aren't we?

Okay, DLH girl, you have issues just like everyone else in your psychotic group!

You monster! I can't believe you'd hurt Nozomi like that...

Okay, you can't see in a still shot but in the video, Nozomi's cheek ripples from the impact of that slap.

HA! That's what you GET for hurting Nozomi!

Oh my god... I just spent a whole screen cap cheering on physical violence... what kind of person am I!?

I'll just assume they all became friends after four minutes of slapping the crap out each other.

So technically this is edited PV and about 15 seconds of it are just the making of footage sped up so I decided to go ahead and review it! So before we dive into anything analytical, my first impression of the PV is that's it's really pretty, probably the prettiest thing I've seen from a group like BiS. I guess I'm just used to seeing BiS in grunge makeup, school swimsuits, and occasionally naked in these really messy and gritty PVs. Here the girls are still made up in dark way but it just feels more clean and in a strange way, kind of innocent. The DLH girls also look innocent but that's because I think they're meant to place the role of innocents in this PV. But yeah, I like both outfits a lot for the PVs, though I think BiS could have gone without stealing Perfume's hats. The entire atmosphere of the PV also feels very pretty too; the set is incredibly simplistic but it's very pretty. The special effects edited on top of it also add to that pretty atmosphere. At times, I think the editors did go a little overboard with the special effects but overall most of the shots that used them look very clean and it doesn't feel like the effects are overwhelming the PV. My favorite part where they're used is in the close-ups for each group. Like DLH has a very bright and sparkly background and BiS has a much darker and grittier background! It really helped show the obvious contrast between the groups. That was also nice; if you'd never heard of either one of these groups, I still think you'd be able to tell each group's image. BiS is the dark idol group and DLH is the light idol group. Or so it says. I'll delve into that in a little bit. But I think it was a cool idea to show how different these groups were from each other on a visual standpoint. I also enjoyed the interactions they had. The shots where the girls are playing violent children's games with each other are the most interesting parts of the PV because it's just so surreal. It's even more surreal when you know the images of each group going into the PV. I was very curious as to see what kind of direction they would take with this collaboration because again, I literally had no idea how this was going to turn out. The result is definitely... interesting!

So, technical and visual critiques aside, let's get to the one thing that really matters in this PV: violence! Now remember kids, physical violence will never solve your problems. Part of me thinks that there may be some kind of hidden symbolism behind this but then the other part of me comes up and says "Nia! You review idols, not Freud! Don't overthink this!" Well, seeing as I just finished a semester of psychology, I think it's time to see if any of that is stuck in my brain after the boatload of exams I just finished. So before we get in too deep, let's take a look at what the PV is up-front. There really isn't much to the PV beyond the close-ups and group shots but the other shots we do see are that of what appears to be two children's games. One game consist of rock-paper-scissors and the loser gets slapped in the face. The other game involves two people pushing one another one top of a table/bench until one person falls off. You know what they remind me of? Those pain games I played back in elementary school. You know, the ones where two kids hit, kicked, pinched, etc. each other until one kid gave in, asked to stop and as a consequence, lost the game. Teachers tried their best to keep those games from happening, but we totally got away with them anyways. Ah, those were the days... So I think that's definitely an interesting thing to look at especially because of how the girls react when one girl inflicts pain on the other. Something I noticed in the PV was that DLH does a lot more hitting and pushing than BiS does. In total, DLH pushes/slaps BiS 9 times and BiS only pushes/slaps DLH 5 times. What's up with that? Why is DLH so much more violent than BiS in this PV? Another thing to note is that DLH has a lot more... enthusiasm when it comes to participating in the violence. You see the girls with these gleeful smiles as they enthusiastically slap and push the BiS girls even though it's clearly visible that they're in pain. So that made me wonder why? Both groups hit each other a lot but the DLH girls seem to get more a kick out of it than BiS. Sure, BiS give some vaguely amused smiles but they never look downright psychotically happy about the violent game they're playing.

So here's my theory: before I get into it, please remember that I'm not referring to the girls as their actual personalities but the characters they play as idols in this PV. As characters, the girls of BiS are totally used to darkness and violence; they have tons of it in their PVs already. But violence is a totally new concept to a group like DLH, who's only had cliched idol PVs as sweet as sugar. When they have the opportunity to try this new and different game involving violence, they're enthralled by it because it's the complete opposite of what they're used to doing. They enjoy the pain that they have the power to cause without being reprimanded and for the first time, they can do whatever the hell they want instead of complying to the typical "idol" image they've had in the past. Stereotypically, you'd think that BiS would be the group that would be more violent because of their dark image but the irony is that DLH is despite being so pure and light. You know the Black Swan concept? Well if you don't, in this movie called Black Swan there are two ballerinas: a "light" ballerina who's naive and innocent and a "dark" ballerina who's sensual and crass. It's more complex than that but the main theme is how the light ballerina is consumed by her own inner demons and darkness she tried so hard to repress for most of her life, essentially becoming as dark as the dark ballerina. Now, I'm not saying DLH have inner demons or anything of that nature but perhaps this PV was meant to show that despite how different two idol groups may seem on the outside, at the core, they're still the same. Maybe this whole PV is meant to be a representation of what happens when the unconscious is allowed to take action without any consequences! And maybe the physical violence Dorothy Little Happy partakes in so willingly is really their subconscious wants and needs that they're forced to repress! Maybe this whole PV is a social commentary on the forced images idols have to keep and what happens when that image is peeled away!


...Yeah, I'll probably go with that last one. You can take my theories with a grain of salt but at its core, Get You is definitely an interesting PV. It's a simple PV but it is still a pretty neat PV and a great collaboration between the dark side and light side of idol groups!

I'm gonna get you four out of five apples, BiS/DLH. It's a pretty spontaneous collaboration from two very different idol groups but the result is enjoyable! The song is a very nice to listen to the and the accompanying PV is simple but very interesting. I can definitely say I'm looking forward to reviewing the single when it's released!

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