Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sexy PV Week: Ebisu Muscats

All right guys, it's Sunday of the week of Valentine's Day so let's get started on reviewing some sexy PVs, starting with Ebisu Muscats!

That's right, the idol group the will begin the fabulously sexy PV week is Ebisu Muscats! For those of you who are a little vague on just who the hell Ebisu Muscats is, here's a brief history lesson for you! They're like AKB48 only SEXIER! Just kidding, but the group is made up of AV actresses and gravure models, with a few cabaret girls and a few legitimate models thrown into the mix. Like AKB48, Ebisu Muscats does not have a consistent lineup and it changes with each single. Currently, there are around 30 members of the group along with a slew of other former members that I'll probably never hear about! Anyways, the group was established way back in 2008 on a variety show titled Onegai! Muscat. Now I have no idea how a group filled with AV/gravure/cabaret/model idols stems from a variety show but whatever! The group released their first indie single back in 2010 titled Banana Mango High School/12 no 34 Naite and released several more indie singles before being picked up by Pony Canyon. Under the major label, Ebisu Muscats released four more singles and then announced that they would be disbanding in April 2013.

Now the only opinion I had of Ebisu Muscats before Sexy PV Week was that their name sounded like a really crappy school mascot. When I started leafing through the group's music videos, I was surprised at just how toned down they were in terms of fanservice, especially the ones shot under the Pony Canyon label. Don't get me wrong, there's still a good amount of fanservice but it's a lot less that I thought I would see from a idol group consisting of AV actresses and gravure idols. I will say, their indie PVs are sexier than their major label PVs (even though they wear the same costumes in every indie PV). However, their debut song, Honey Trap, had a really sexy PV to go with it and was a pretty catchy song on its own! Hence I was originally going to review their Honey Trap PV but since I couldn't find the full version, I resorted to looking through their indie singles for a suitably sexy PV! They had a pretty decent amount of indie PVs so surely I could find a good one to start off Sexy PV Week! I decided to go with their PV to Oecura Mambo, one of the A-sides off their second single.

But not so fast! Before we get to the sexy PV in question, I'd like to review the song first. Just because I'm focusing on the PVs doesn't mean the songs accompanying them are getting a free pass. Part of the reason why I picked Oecura Mambo was because I felt like I could talk about the song! That being said, what do I think of this song?

So... have you guys ever heard of yé-yé music? You probably have and you just didn't know the term for it until now but yé-yé is that perky and insufferably catchy sounding style of music that sounds like it belongs in an episode of Mad Men. And is has been featured on Mad Men! The style mainly originated back in the 60s in Europe (particularly in France, Spain and Portugal). Many of the singers who sung yé-yé were young females who gave off an innocently sexy image. My, my doesn't that sound familiar to Japanese idols? Could it be that they're related!? Yep, a good deal idol music originated from this yé-yé style of music and this genre can even be found in Shibuya-kei and indie pop! So there! Now you learned something! Isn't history fun? Back to the song I'm reviewing, Oecura Mambo is very reminiscent of that yé-yé music sound and it's a very retro sounding song.

The instrumental in particular was what sounded the most yé-yé to me with its repetitive melody and beach-y sound. In fact, this sounds like a song I'd hear playing during a cheesy beach party in the 60s! I know if I were throwing a cheesy beach party during the 60s I would totally play this song! So yeah, if you're a fan of more retro-sounding idol music (i.e. Nogizaka46 except not sucking) then I think you can enjoy Oecura Mambo! It's a pretty tame idol song but it does have a rather catchy instrumental and it's a fun little head-bobber especially if you want to relax. In fact, there was only one real problem I had with this song and that was the vocals were... weird. I don't want to say the vocals were bad but at times it sounded like the idols singing the song were doing this weird thing where they were shouting and singing at the same time. I'd be lying if I said that didn't get on my nerves a teensy bit; I can stand shouting in songs (or shouting in general...) and if I wasn't in the mood to listen to Oecura Mambo, those vocals might irritate me. It makes me wonder how many girls were hired for their... talent. If you know what I mean.

But enough of those double entendres! This wouldn't be much of a Sexy PV Week if I didn't review the actual PV Oecura Mambo, would it? So let's see just how sexy this Oecura Mambo PV really is!

You know, I've discovered that a good indicator of a PV's budget is the font used to drop the title. Can you guess the budget for Oecuar Mambo?

And here we have a fanservice-y summer PV in... a park? Odd choice. I guess AKB48 stole a beach location already.

I hope you like leg shots because there are a lot of those in this PV!

Do the hula, everyone! But not just any hula: the sexy hula!

How could we forget about the boob-shots!? After all, this is a fanservice PV!

Freeze frame!

I don't know if the pink girl's looking at the blue girl's legs, but if so, her facial expression is priceless.

Oh yeah, this is totally what girls do when they hang out with each other! We dress up in skimpy cover ups and lie down on each other's legs!

I like that this PV has books in it! It spreads the message that yes, books are sexy!

But leg shots remain sexier.

And shots of them playing with beach balls... because that's fanservice, right?

I have to admit, the girls in this PV are actually really adorable.

You can tell that they have experience in modeling and posing and showing their bodies in an attractively flattering way.

Mmkay, why would you wear fancy black dress shoes with a beach-y cover-up?

Poor Ebisu Muscats; the only outfits they can pick from are those cover-ups in different colors! Boy, limited wardrobe sucks, doesn't it?

I am the fisherman and you are the fish. NOW I SHALL REEL YOU IN WITH FANSERVICE!

And more sports! Yay!

I'd make a sexism joke but that would be politically incorrect.

Sweet dreams, random idol whom I will never see again!

Awww, they're waving to the viewer! That's so sweet!

I have to give these girls credit for looking like they're genuinely having fun.

The twintailed girl is really adorable! I don't know who she is and probably never will but she's really cute!

Annnnd more leg shots. Oddly enough, this PV is more toned-down in fanservice than Ponytail to Shushu!

Annnnd more kinda-sexy-but-also-slightly-awkward dancing!

You know, if I had screencapped every leg shot in this PV, my screencap probably would have been twice as long.

And you're adorable too!

I guess it makes sense that all the girls are very pretty since they're all AV actresses/models/gravure idols.

Watch out! The Ebisu Muscats are coming for you! RAWR!!!

Not sure if they're try to make the shape of a mango or a Cheerio...

That's right! Do the Travolta! The SEXY pre-insane Travolta!

And so the PV ends with them all piling on top of each other... No! Not in that way!

Like I said yesterday, the way I'm doing Sexy PV Week is that I'm starting out with the least sexy PV on my list and then I'm going upward from there. And naturally since Oecura Mambo kicks off Sexy PV Week, this is the PV that I found to be the least sexiest of the list of PVs I decided to review. And honestly, I was pretty surprised at how toned down this was compared to my expectations for Ebisu Muscats. I'd kind of expected this group to be a little bit sexier considering the lineup consisted of AV actresses and gravure girls but if anything, the Oecura Mambo PV is more of an innocent-fanservice type of PV than a flat-out, in-your-face fanservice PV. And I guess that is kind of a nice change compared to the future PVs I'll be reviewing this week but I'll get to those later. That's one of the reasons why I found Oecura Mambo to be the last sexiest PV; the fanservice, while very clearly there, is a lot less blatant compared to the other PVs I picked out. You still have a good deal of body shots but the fanservice is mostly presented in a fun and carefree way.

Now personally, I've always had a pretty 50/50 opinion on "innocent" fanservice. On one hand, I do like that it doesn't try to outright show fanservice but the ways in which fanservice is displayed can get pretty ridiculous. And yeah, there were definitely some ridiculous shots in there. Like some of the shots of certain girls folding clothes or doing chores felt just a little bit too contrived for me and as usual, the body shots were clearly only there for fanservice. Still, I don't think a fanservice PV would be much of a fanservice PV without body shots, huh? Another thing that surprised me about this was the outfits; the outfits were really conservative for an idol PV. I'm serious, I might even consider wearing one of those outfits. The girls are pretty much wearing cover up tops and short white skirts over their bikinis and don't show as much skin as you'd expect them to. In fact, I think AKB48's bikini PVs are more risque compared to Ebisu Muscats! Again, I suppose that ties into the "innocent fanservice" concept but it was still very surprising for me.

So yeah, the Oecura Mambo PV is obviously a summer PV. The single was released in July so it was nice that the PV was shot in an outdoor location and in a different indoor location that also looked very nice and summery! Even though there was no beach or pool, there were still beach balls and summer costumes and a bright blue sky and it looked nice! Clearly, this isn't the most high-budget PV ever made but it does its job of presenting fanservice in a (somewhat) tasteful and innocent way. And the PV did more than just show a cluster of hot girls doing hot stuff. There were shots of the girls interacting with each other, playing ball, and just having fun. I think that's what I liked the most about this PV: the girls themselves looked like they were having a lot of fun. I don't know how real their emotions were, but they all looked incredibly genuine and made me want to be partying right alongside them.

The girls also looked very confident and comfortable on camera which I suppose comes from their modeling and film experience but it's still very nice to look at! All the girls look very pretty and are constantly smiling and laughing and it looks so nice. Honestly, I enjoyed the girls more than the fanservice and I like that they weren't just showing off their bodies but their personalities. I know that's one of the default aspects of an idol group but it's still nice to see it being pulled off so well. So in terms of fanservice, like I said Oecura Mambo is the least sexiest PV on the list. The outfits are conservative and the fanservice is fairly innocent but still prominent. However, the PV has a nice balance between fanservice and personality and the girls are what make the PV more than a simple fanservice PV. So if you're looking for something really sexy, Ebisu Muscats might not be for you but if you're looking for a group of beautiful girls with on-screen charisma, I think you might like them. I know I saw what I liked from Ebisu Muscats and it's a shame they're disbanding so soon. I would have liked to see more from them. Oh well, for what it is Oecara Mambo is a decent PV, just the least sexiest on my list.

Overall, on my Legs Rating Scale of not sexy to totally effing sexy, I would give Oecura Mambo... 3.5 Perfume!Legs. There's a reason it's starting off my Sexy PV Week as the least sexiest of the PVs I'm reviewing and it's pretty much on the same level of fanservice as your average idol bikini PV. Still, the girls on the screen have good chemistry and the song is nicely catchy. If you're just craving a PV geared toward more innocent fanservice, then I think you'll enjoy this PV!

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