Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Time Capsule Reviews: Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow

First of all... Merry Christmas! I hope you're all enjoying yourselves on this holiday! I myself am leaving right after I hit "Publish" on this draft to celebrate with my own family! But before I leave I wanted to post something a little Christmas-related and since I don't really gravitate toward Christmas pic-spams, I'm doing something else! At first, I wasn't sure what I wanted to write though; I just knew I went it to be Christmas-related in some way, shape or form. And as I've seen all this holiday Christmas cheer floating around the blogsphere, I began thinking "Man, I wish there was something Christmas-related I had the motivation to review." I know AKB48 released their yearly Christmas PV that accompanies the Janken single but those songs are always blander than the Janken songs themselves. Then what? What could I possibly review with enthusiasm that also happened to be Christmas-related? And that's when I remember that there has always been one group I can write about. And I think you and I both know what group I'm talking about. That's right, I'm doing another Time Capsule Review!

Yes, for today's Time Capsule Review, we're hopping in the time-traveling fish and going all the way back to 2006 and taking a look at Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow!

And since I felt like I haven't made this really clear, I have decided to start doing the Time Capsule Reviews on a regular basis until I run out of old Perfume PVs to review. Which should be for awhile. I've decided that towards the end of every month, I am going to draw out the name of a Perfume PV from my magic hat and I shall then screencap and review it like I do a regular PV review! Now usually what I talk about in each Time Capsule Review is random since it's drawn from a hat and all but for this occasion I'm making an intervention and reviewing Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow, the only PV of theirs that has a very clear Christmas/winter theme surrounding it! Then again, you also might be able to count Baby Cruising Love... maybe I'll review that PV for next December's Time Capsule Review! Originally, I was going to review the PV I had drawn out of the magic hat but the more I thought about it, reviewing Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow just seems perfect to end Christmas season and the year 2012! Anyways, the PV that I did draw out will be postponed to January so we'll get to that in about a month or so! For now, let's talk about Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow. 

Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow was released back in 2006 as a digital single, the first digital single Perfume ever released! The song was later included on the single Fanservice (Sweet) and it's a little overshadowed by Chocolate Disco, the song that basically opened doors for Perfume. In comparison to Chocolate Disco, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow isn't really looked at that much and even I don't really talk about it that much. It's not one of my favorite songs in the world but I still enjoy it! Sometimes, anyways. One of the reasons that I wanted to review Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow in December when it's nice and cold outside is because I have a very... bi-polar opinion of this song. If I reviewed this song in the summer, I don't think I would care for it at all because of the hot weather. Around late March I begin to grow tired of this song and I don't start really enjoying it again until November and sometimes December. I think that's probably because of the theme; Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow is about winter. The song talks about snow and hot chocolate and ice and bringing warmth towards someone else you like. The PV also strongly invokes the idea of transitioning from coldness to warmness. When you live in the South where the temperature reaches 110 degrees at times, listening to a song about getting warm kind of makes you frustrated. I'm just not really in the mood to listen to such a wintery song when it's boiling hot and really super humid outside. It only makes me depressed that I'm going to have to endure five more months of unbearably hot temperature. "So what?" hypothetical you that I'm using for this scenario says, "That's just the lyrics! You don't even speak Japanese, Nia!" Yeah but it's kinda hard to get them out of your head once you've read them. The song itself also sounds a lot like a Christmas song, particularly the opening bit before the girls start singing and trying to get me into the Christmas spirit during June/July/August/September/October is next to impossible. 

Now in the winter... I really love listening to this song, especially around this time of the year! Of all the idol Christmas songs floating around out there this is the idol Christmas song that I play every year. You can have Aitai Lonely Christmas or Noel no Yoru because I have the one and only Christmas/winter song Perfume has ever done! Seriously, the group doesn't really dabble in holiday-related material (as of now at least...) so it's really nice to have one kinda-sorta holiday song to listen to especially since I'm such a fan of them! Suddenly the unrelatable lyrics are incredibly relatable as the temperatures drop and I'm sitting the house holding some hot chocolate! Around mid to late November, this song gets played more and more on my iPod and I love listening to it by the time December rolls around! On Christmas Day, I love playing it and I love playing it even more when it's snowing outside! Unfortunately, snow hardly ever falls where I live... but this song is still a lot of fun! It's definitely one of the lighter and happier songs from Perfume's discography but it fits well with Chocolate Disco and I enjoy the wintery happiness of it! And like many other Perfume songs, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow is very, very catchy. It doesn't reach Chocolate Disco or Hurly Burly levels of catchiness but it still stays in my head! Any time the girls sing is usually when the song gets really catchy like the chorus or the verses where the repeated la's are really catchy. Overall, this is a cute song from an older era of Perfume, a time just before the girls hit it big in Japan. In fact, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow and Chocolate Disco are the last songs before the group's song that made them so famous. For that, I also get a little nostalgic when I listen to it. Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow isn't the greatest song Perfume has ever released and my opinion of it varies with each season but it is a cute and lighthearted winter song that will stick its tune in your head until you're humming it all throughout winter!

Now let's take a look at a younger and less famous Perfume in a less famous PV that was very overshadowed by Chocolate Disco!

Nice title opening! It's simple but the city backdrop is intriguing! I wonder what's in that city-

...the hell is that?

Yeah, notice that conspicuous CGI? There's a lot of that in this PV!

But that is a pretty cool CGI city to open the PV with!

WHOA! Hello ridiculously bright lighting!

Seriously, the pastel toning is reaching Oishii! Project levels.

But not even bad lighting can reduce A-chan's pretty smile!

So is this Kashiyuka's secret lair?

See, S/mileage? This is how you show it's cold outside!

A-chan looks so lovely sitting their, like a little snow flower or something!

This dance is so cute. If only we could actually see it

Poor A-chan looks so cold... she needs a sweater!

Unlike you two wearing flimsy shorts and dresses, I'm actually wearing PANTS so I'm perfectly warm!

But my contract says I can't wear anything that passes fingertip-length!

A-chan must be jealous of Nocchi's pants.

I really love these shots and how open and cold they look!

No wonder Nocchi's not wearing gloves; they'd conceal her bitchin' nail polish design!

So is there a radiator hidden up there or something?

And off the Perfume girls go to... Narnia? Middle Earth? Take your pick!

WOW. And just when I thought there couldn't be anymore oversaturated lighting!

Oh, I get it! There are like two parallel worlds, right? Right!?

Kashiyuka, don't touch the magical mysterious crystal ball! Don't you watch supernatural horror movies?

Agh, this shot is so pretty! The atmosphere is so chillingly beautiful!

And the oversaturation JUST. GOT. HEAVIER!!!!!!!

I guess sparkles mean that the climate magically got warmer in dystopian Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow world.

Seriously, what changed about the snowflakes before and after the sparkle shower?

A-chan looks so sweet in this PV!

And so does Kashiyuka and her spectacular forehead!

So I guess the snow went from being cold snow to... twinkly powdery snow?

Who knows? All I know is my eyes hurt from having to screencap all this brightness!

No! Don't you watch horror movies, girls!? Don't go to the light!!!

Now that is a pretty kickass CGI shot to end a PV with!

Something that I've found I really like about doing Time Capsule Reviews is that they allow me to give an introspective look back to songs and videos I haven't looked at or listen to in awhile. And it's been a pretty long time since I watched the Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow PV so watching and screencapping it allowed me a better look at the PV. I don't think I've straight-up watched this entire PV since I binged on Perfume music way back in 2008 and the only reaction I remember having at the time was "OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!" and that was my reaction to just about everything I found by Perfume at that time. Looking back at this PV, I can say that my opinion now is different from what it was then and I feel much more critical towards this PV now. It's still not a bad PV and definitely not the worst that Perfume has ever done but it does have a few glaring flaws. And I literally mean, glaring flaws. My biggest problem with Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow PV was the glaring lighting! I'd completely forgotten how bright and oversaturated this PV can get at times. I mean, yes, there are parts that have good lighting (like the scenes where all three girls are wondering around in the snowy city) but other parts like the dance shot and a few of the close-ups have really, really bright lighting. Because of this, it's much more difficult to see the nice dance and how pretty the girls look! Of course, there are a few moments where the lighting works like the burst of light that I think is meant to represent warmth or the sun at the end of the PV! What I like about this PV is just how expansive the setting can get; the wider shots are my favorites because they allow the viewer to dive into the atmosphere. I'm a huge fan of science fiction, especially dystopian futures so to have a PV with a dystopian setting is right up my alley. I noticed that this PV is really similar in tone and styling to Electro World, so much that it's a little eerie. Both PVs take place in vaguely dystopian futures, feature the heavy use of CGI, have a grey/muted tone, and they show the girls wandering around a large city. Who knows? Maybe both of these PVs take place in the same universe! How they're connected... I'll leave that up to someone smarter to figure out. 

I will say the CGI looks a little less cutting edge and futuristic now than it probably did to me in 2008 and there are a few shots (like the giant CGI... fish-transportation vehicles) that look kind of dated. Don't get me wrong, there are parts where the CGI is good but then there are those few shots where I'm thinking "Yeah... this definitely isn't Pixar I'm watching." It's weird because Electro World was made before Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow yet I don't think that PV's CGI is that bad or overdone. I think that might be because the futuristic style works better for a song like Electro World. For Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow... setting the PV in the future is a cool theme but I think it sounds like a better idea on paper. The main concept of the PV is pretty much the same as the song: getting warm. Now the song goes into a little more depth than that but the PV is essentially about three girls in a dystopian future city wandering around trying to find an escape from the cold snow that plagues their city. Then eventually they come across a magic crystal ball (don't dystopian cities always have those?) and then after seeing a parallel version of themselves that somehow brings warmth to the city via oversaturated lighting. Is it a cool idea? Yes! That's a freaking awesome idea and a totally different take on your average idol winter/Christmas PV! But for this PV, it's kind of hit and miss depending on which parts you're looking at. Are there times when the concept works? Yeah, lots! But then there are also moments where the concept gets a little muddled and confusing; for one thing, I couldn't figure out why it was still snowing if the girls had just given the city warmth via magic crystal ball! I think maybe it was better snow but I wasn't aware that there was a difference between the snows in this PV! Even if I spoke Japanese, I don't think I'd be able to make that out! Well... I guess in the end my criticisms are a little nit-picky because this really is a pretty fun winter PV, especially if you like technopop!

So overall, I will give Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow 3.5 out of 5 apples. Depending on the season, this song can either be really fun and amazing to listen to or it can be a total drag and a cruel reminder of hot weather. The PV is decent even if there are some parts that don't work well as others. If you're looking for a slightly different holiday song with a fabulous techno twist, I highly recommend you check out Perfume's one and only winter PV! I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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