Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holly Jolly PV Week: Momoiro Clover Z

Yes. That PV.

Before I start talking about the insanity that is Momoiro Clover Z, I just want to wish you all a merry Christmas! I hope wherever you are and whatever you're doing that you're happy right now! I myself will be with family all day so I haven't been able to publish this review until late in the evening. But technically it's still Christmas so there! And I figured there isn't a better PV to close Holly Jolly PV Week out with than a Momoiro Clover Z one! I can guarantee it will be wacky, insane, and weird in all the fun ways that Momoiro Clover Z always is! Naturally, I am referring to the one Christmas PV I know that Momoiro Clover Z has released: Santa-san! Pretty appropriate name for a Christmas song if I do say so myself! Honestly, I'm not surprised that MomoClo has a Christmas song. I'm more surprised that it took so long for them to do one! For an idol group that likes to take common idol concepts the craziest and weirdest limits possible, you'd think they'd get around to injecting a shot of insanity into a Christmas song. Oh well, better late than never!

Santa-san was released in late 2011, actually as a B-side to Roudou Sanka, a single released in November. I guess MomoClo just couldn't wait to get into the Christmas spirit! And November 2011 just so happens to be the time I started blogging, a time when I'd yet to get into Momoiro Clover Z, let alone know much about them. But I vaguely remember the divine and wonderful Chiima reviewing the PV for this and being generally weirded out but still providing a very entertaining screencap. Then stuff happened, I started listening to MomoClo, things got crazy, and here we are now! In hindsight, I wish I hadn't forgotten about Santa-san so easily because it is a really good song. I'm not even saying it's good as a Christmas song, it's good as a song in general. I almost regret never getting around to reviewing this PV back when it was released... then again, my reviewing skills were crap back then! Now I feel like I can provide a much more thought-out and developed review that I believe a song like Santa-san deserves!

In Santa-san, Momoiro Clover Z is just as crazy and lighthearted and fun singing it as they are singing many of their other songs; this one's just about Christmas! And I love the energy the girls put into it; they sound so excited. I haven't really said this, but I've always liked the way MomoClo sort of throws themselves into the songs they sing. Like it doesn't matter what style or sound, I always feel like the girls sing the songs with such commitment. I mean, I know the songs are composed by other arrangers and writers, but a song can still be boring if the singers sound bored. And even in their more boring songs, the girls of MomoClo never sound bored. With all the idol groups I review, a group that sounds consistently not-bored when they sing is such a blessing. And in Santa-san, I believe the girls are genuinely excited when they sing about Santa and Christmas! Even if it was faked and the girls didn't feel that way in real life, in the song, they at least convincingly act like they're excited! And I think that excitement is what makes Santa-san such a good song.

That and the arrangement. Oh my gosh, the arrangement for this song is crazy in the most entertaining way possible. I wonder if that Hyadain guy composed it... a-ha, I just looked it up and yes, he did! I'm not surprised. I know he composed a lot of MomoClo's intricate, Battle and Romance-era songs, and Santa-san definitely does have a very Battle and Romance feel. I feel like I've been hearing that guy's name a lot recently with other idol groups. The guy must be busy! Anyways, the arrangement, like I said, has so many different parts in it. It's a little jarring at first, like any of MomoClo's Hyadain-composed songs, but I can't help but get caught up in the excitement the girls profess throughout the song! When I listen to Santa-san, I just feel so happy. Sort of the same way a little kid feels on Christmas day. In fact, I'm sure this song existed when I was a kid, I would have loved it, because Santa-san is a very childish song. But childish in a way that both adults and kids can enjoy it! Kind of like Disney movies!

And I love that a Christmas song can get me so excited. As each year passes, and I grow more mature, I feel that I'm very slowly losing touch with the enchantment I had with Christmas as a little kid. Don't get me wrong, I still love Christmas and look forward to it, but no in the same way I did when I was a little kid. Maybe because I know the truth about Santa, because my brain has matured, I don't know, I just enjoy Christmas in a different way now. You know how little kids look at things differently than adults, and the way a kid looks forward to Christmas is an emotion so difficult to capture as an adult. All that wonder and joy and anticipation of waking up seeing presents underneath a tree. It's hard to feel that same way once you get older. But Santa-san reminds me of those feelings of Christmas as a child. It's the only song on Holly Jolly PV Week that really comes close to displaying the ecstatic joy of Christmas and everything about it. And that's why it's my favorite idol Christmas song.

I think it has so much enthusiasm and heart and sweetness and all the emotions that I've experienced around Christmas, whether it be now or as a little kid. The girls of Momoiro Clover Z deliver the lyrics of this song with such childlike happiness too. I think the lyrics to Santa-san also help make it such a great song. They're about what else? Santa! And a bunch other things surrounding Christmas. Really Santa-san covers a range of different Christmas topics. My favorite part is when Kanako and Shiori mention that in Australia, they're celebrating a midsummer Christmas and Reni goes "WHAT!?" in the song. Then the girls switch from repeating "Santa!" to repeating "Coco!" Just the way it's delivered at such a rapidfire timing makes it so funny. And there a lot of other nice touches to the lyrics, with the girls musing about presents, delicious Christmas food, believing in Santa, and a lot of other things! Santa-san is actually one of the few songs where I strongly recommend reading the lyrics. They're part of what make Santa-san such a memorable Christmas song along with the arrangement, the emotion, and just about everything about this song! For me, it is the best idol Christmas song, hands down.

But does Santa-san have an equally high-quality PV? We're looking at a Momoiro Clover Z PV, so even if not, I do expect some level of craziness! The question is just how crazy does MomoClo get? If you're all done unwrapping presents and celebrating, how about we take a look!

A vintage Santa figurine! Nice!

Aw, now isn't this a sweet way to open up a PV?

With the girls in their pajamas thoughtfully singing about Santa, I bet this PV's going to be absolutely-


Okay... pull yourself together, Nia... they're just costumes... fuzzy abominations... but still costumes

I could honestly see Kanako being down with becoming a Christmas tree.

Momoka and Aa~rin got their Shiori at Sears for only $49.95! Plus shipping and handling.

The girls do genuinely look like they're having a bunch of fun.

I mean, I don't think I've seen idols have this much fun since BiS kidnapped Pinky in W.W.D. II!

A fridge that comes with an idol instead of a back wall!? I want my money back!

Yes, Reni, that's a card. Of something. This is why I take Spanish.

Ain't no party like a MomoClo party!

Just don't be like Not yet and end up partying so hard you end up in jail.

Silly Kanako, you can't eat an ornament! Or can you? I wouldn't try it.

Oh, Reni looks so nice and pretty in her purple kimono-

Oh my god. That. Is. HILARIOUS!

I'll bet they got Shiori during the Black Friday sale. Idols come at great prices during that time!

As crazy as it would probably be, I'd love to party with Momoiro Clover Z.

I mean, they look like they're having so much fun. Not fake-idol PV kind of fun, but genuine fun!

Even in those hideous outfits, they still look like they're having fun!

Kanako has now achieved her goal of becoming a cherry tree- oh wait, that's an AKB48 song! Wrong PV!

And Momoka is perpetually adorable.

Pity they can't eat that food. It looks delicious!

Ah, I was wondering when Kanako would pull one of her unintentionally-psychotic grins!

A pie in the face is classic slapstick. And it's delicious!

I wish the Christmas parties I've been to were this much fun.

Um... so now it's Christmas pool party?

Oh, I get it! The lyrics talk about Australia Christmases so MomoClo does what MomoClo does and throws and Australian-style Christmas party!

Table dancing! YEAH! This party's getting hardcore!

Poor Momoka; I guess she isn't keen on getting pied in the face...

Of course the PV couldn't end without one last shot of those terrifying outfits. Eugh.

I forgot how bat-shit crazy this PV is! But it's bat-shit crazy in the most awesometacular way possible! I love how the PV starts out with the girls all lined up in their pajamas swaying and looking really calm then BAM! UGLY CHRISTMAS OUTFITS! Yeah, the outfits in the dance shot are ugly in the tackiest and most hilarious way possible. I can't even hate them that much because they're just so over-the-top. The girls look like walking Christmas ornaments in them! Then again, what else should I have expected from Momoiro Clover Z? Besides, most of the PVs shows the girls in outfits beyond the fuzzy abominations. Basically, the PV for Santa-san is one giant Christmas party. It shows the girls dancing around, admiring delectable Christmas food, riding around on a toy train, and goofing off in every way possible. They're like little kids! It's so adorable!

I really love all the variety put into this PV. The sets are so cute and look great with all the Christmas decorations! I mean, whoever did the set for this PV really went all out! All the decorations gave the PV a very homey feel, like this was a real house and not just a set! I sometimes like pausing this PV just so I can get a good look at the detail put in to the set! And I like that they show the sets from several different angles, like Kanako and Momoka on top of a table to Shiori on the train to Aarin in the refrigerator. The editing in this PV was really nice too. I think the camera cut to every scene at the right time so that this PV never felt slow. Screencapping this PV was so much fun because of how fast-paced and energetic it is! There's so much to talk about in this PV because there's simply so much going on! I felt like Santa-san is a PV that showcases so many great things about Christmas. Like the decorations, the food, the presents, and most of all the happiness. This is such a happy and carefree PV. It perfectly matches the mood that I feel on Christmas: that sense of utter happiness and content.

Even though all that is great, what makes Santa-san such a great PV is the girls themselves. In Santa-san, the girls are an absolute trip to watch. They're so entertaining! I like that this PV allowed the girls to be goofy in a way that isn't exactly cute. The girls still look adorable, but there are parts in this PV where they act goofy and dorky. Like I feel like a lot of idol Christmas PVs just show the idols doing all these cute things and looking really glamorous and pretty while doing them. I mean, that isn't a bad thing, but it's just nice seeing the girls of MomoClo doing stuff like shoving pies in each other's faces and having food fights and falling into swimming pools and other physical comedy like that. I mean, when Reni-chan came out with her purple kimono rearranged, that was hilarious! Stuff like that made me feel like the emphasis of the PV was less "Look how cute Momoiro Clover Z is!" and more "Look at all the crazy stuff Momoiro Clover Z does on Christmas!" It's refreshing.

I mean, I know that I goof off on Christmas all the time with my family. And at the few Christmas parties I've been to, I've done more-or-less the same thing. Okay, I've never had a Christmas food fight because the food's so delicious that no one dares throw it at people. But still, a lot of the stuff MomoClo does in this PV is on the same level of wacky dorkiness that I experience on Christmas! Letting MomoClo go all out and do all this crazy stuff was really fun to watch. And it helps that they genuinely look like they're having fun. I think MomoClo does a good job of being expressive in their PVs, but Santa-san is a PV where I think they were really allowed to be super excited and happy. They're always smiling and teasing each other and laughing and having all sorts of fun in this PV! I want to have a Christmas party with MomoClo if they're this fun! The girls all look so happy, and I love the fun, friendly way they interact with each other. It just reminds me of my own Christmases.

I think because I can relate to the PV for Santa-san I love the PV a lot. All the emotion in the PV perfectly matches all the emotions that I feel on Christmas! Like today, I felt pretty much the same way the girls did! By the way, I just want to take this moment to wish you all a merry Christmas. I know, I know, it's off topic but still! I have to at least deliver a little Christmas message to my coolest of cool spuds! I hope that you enjoyed this Christmas. I enjoyed mine a lot; I spent time with my family, and it was just a really nice day! But I know that not everyone experiences a great Christmas. If you're one of those people, I just want to say that I hope that whatever is preventing you from having one goes away! And I hope that if you are in a bad place right now that you get out of it!

For those of you who did have a wonderful Christmas, I want to give you all a gift. Well... it's not exactly a gift that you can hold or do anything with. It's just my thanks! Thank you all for supporting me and my little Wonderland! I know I can get kind of dorky and weird and passionate about idol music, and for you all to sit and read my ramblings makes me grateful beyond words. Christmas is a time when I like being thankful for all the opportunities that I've been given, and just knowing that people out there enjoy reading my stuff on the Wonderland is something I will always be thankful for. I wish I could give each and every one of you something like a card or candy or... I don't know, just something to say thank you! I hope that the least I can give back to you is my writing. So one last time, thank you for sticking around and reading my writing! I love each and every one of you, and I hope that you all are having a merry Christmas! So uh... where was I again? Right! Momoiro Clover Z! Yeah, I love the PV for Santa-san in case you didn't figure that out already. If you are as much of an enthusiast about Christmas as I am, I highly recommend checking this PV out if you haven't already. In my opinion, it is the quintessential Christmas PV, showing all the best parts of Christmas, both physical and emotional!

Yeah, Santa-san gets the entire five fruitcake rating, reserved for only the most Christmas-y of idol Christmas PVs! The song is great, the PV is great, this is such a great Christmas song. I feel really good ending Holly Jolly PV Week with Santa-san; it encompasses all the holliness and jolliness I wanted this week! And I hope you all enjoyed it, and again, I especially hope you all had a merry Christmas! With Christmas almost over (like it's almost midnight where I am), now I can start getting into all the year-end stuff! Yay!


  1. Fear not. Intermediate Japanese learner is here.

    Line 1: Postal symbol and address number
    Line 2: Address listed in Japanese order
    Line 3: Stardust Promotion
    Line 4: I can't make this out. Something about presents.

    1. Thank you for the translation! If you are ever in the need for a Spanish translation, I will offer you my same (intermediate) translation services!

    2. Sin problema, pero no creo que necesitaré tu servico de trandución inglés-español nivel intermedio.

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    1. Uh... did you comment on the wrong article? This is a blog about Japanese pop music, and this post has nothing to do with anti-smoking laws. But thanks for spreading the news! So good to know I can go to New York City and feel safe from cigarette smoke!