Neaux’s 10 vids for 2015
2015 is the year Youtube $#*t the bed and forced many Japanese music labels to region block their videos, alienating themselves from the world and ruining J-music for the masses. Yeah. Not cool.
You can blame Youtube for launching Youtube red and scaring J-labels into hiding. You could also blame companies like Sony, Victor Music, Columbia Music Japan, P-Vine, Blues Interactions, and many others for not really understanding how Youtube and Youtube red will work. Fans like myself weep instantly, but the ones who really suffer are the music artists. Region blocking only limits their exposure, and larger bands will find their videos bootlegged and hosted on other less scrupulous websites.
So that being said, I do have 10 videos that deserve some recognition for being awesome. Also let’s recognize their music labels that keep the videos free for everyone to see. Let’s try to salvage 2015! Side note: if you are looking for Sakanaction love for Shin Takarajima, It’s a great video, not on the list, because it’s region blocked. Sorry guys. Now on to the goods.
#10 Yurumerumo!- “Hamidasumo!” MV hosted by Space Shower Music
You know what will make things better? Idol pop! The girls of Yurumerumo! (You’ll Melt More!) are top shelf idol pop. Their video for “Hamidasumo!” is part mystery, part superhero action, part spy movie and all awesome. The girls also have been creating a stream of songs that cover many rock genres, this one particularly shows the power of noise guitars and weird robot voice effects. Mani Kato is behind this gem of a video, always a force on the Sparkplugged charts. Glad to see Kato and You’ll Melt More making number 10. I originally wrote about this in March on my own blog.
#9 Kidori Kidori- “Nandaka mou” MV hosted by Hipland Music
Nandaka mou, Nandaka mou, Nandaka mou, ya ya ya! I love this song and even my son sings this song. It easily infects your brain. The song is bouncy and so is the video. Thickened doodle lines animate across the screen as the two band members of Kidori Kidori. Colorful faces then stretch apart into wild fragments. It looks like magic marker designs that are truly magic. I love the song and the video. Read more words HERE. Also if this video hangs or lags, just clicky forward a bit to get it started.
#8 Group_Inou- “EYE” MV hosted by GALTV
Group_Inou cover a LOT of ground in “EYE” and they are able to do so because they are fast. Fast alternative rap rhymes and hyper techno sounds keep “EYE” speeding thru your town and on to the next. What’s most cool about the effects is how the camera zooms in on the guys and zooms out while the landscape is flying by at quadruple the speed. Killer video first highlighted back in June of 2015.
#7 A Crowd of Rebellion- “Smells Like Unknown” MV hosted by Warner Japan
Screamo lives and even stays afloat with A Crowd of Rebellion’s “Smells Like Unknown.” The song is full of spark and the band looks lively even when seen as specs on a man made island breaker. And that’s why this video is on the list. The use of aerial shots and fly overs makes “Smells Like Unknown” a gorgeous video. Watching the waves crash upon the disc shaped platform is pretty stunning. The camera views are truly awesome. Read more about it HERE.
#6 Akai SKY- “Marionette” MV hosted on Akai SKY’s youtube channel
“Marionette” by Akai SKY is just a gorgeously animated video. The artwork by Olivia Shetler is vibrant and the character poses are exquisite. The song is so full of life and sounds like one of the biggest things the band has ever produced. For celebrating 10 years of American J-rock, Akai SKY nails professionalism.
I rave more about them in this post from July.
#5 Gesu no Kiwami otome. – ““Romance ga Ariamaru” MV from their official youtube channel
Those pianos and those falsettos. That rotating stage and the black and white video. Both the song and the video get more intricate as it progresses. “Romance ga Ariamaru” incorporates an electro pad musically to warn you of upcoming foolery as the video adds subtle tricks like upside down imagery and reverse motion to warp your brain. And who is playing what instrument? Enjoy the original Sparkplugged article from June.
#4 Suiyobi no Campanella- “Ra” MV from their official youtube
Walk like an Egyptian with Suiyobi no Campanella’s “Ra.” or better yet, dance. GO! “Ra” is your blow up the sun party jam. The special effects for this video are pretty impressive, but really turn gold when they soar into the skies. The sun god meteor explosions are mighty. Take all of that away and you still have a hot dance track with cool moves by the dancers. Katy Perry and Michael Jackson should be proud (both have cool Ancient Egypt videos). Read more over at my blog.
#3 Team Syachihoko- “J.A.N.A.I.C.A.” from their official youtube
When did idol pop step up its game? Well Team Syachihoko has a cray cray video and even has SEAMO handling lyrics and Tofubeats doing the track for “J.A.N.A.I.C.A.” It’s flippin’ out of control. Speaking of, the flip book effects absolutely rule and the girls’ dancing is exhaustingly cool. There is really too much to discuss, so just watch this a couple hundred times. You won’t get bored. See what I wrote originally at neaux clicked on it.
#2 The Flickers- “Love in the Music” hosted by ONECIRCLE
It’s one slow pull out for the Flickers and the cool thing is you can hear them from a mile away. “Love in the Music” begs you to scream along, it’s so loud. So yeah you can hear them waaaaay back four telephone poles in the distance. There is no denying this song rocks, but the video is just as exciting. The camera work makes it seem like one long take, and the muddy desolate landscape is slightly disturbing. Throw in the random naked person and you’ve got a video winner. Check out the original post from April 2015.
#1- Sasanomaly- “Kyo kankaku obake” MV from sasanomaly’s official youtube
Mixing animation, live puppetry and special effects, Sasanomaly’s “Kyo kankaku obake” is a masterful work of art. This video’s art direction had to have a lot of planning involved just to coordinate each shot. Also cutting out all these paper puppets and moving them with sticks and other neat animation gadgets had to take a lot of work. It’s easily deserving of the #1 spot and the song is also a nice electronic track that soar high. Read more HERE.
So what are the take aways from this? I really enjoyed puppets, flipbook effects and screamy rock. Most importantly, I like that all these videos are accessible to all us fans. C’mon J-music companies, open back up your doors and show us your creativity. That’s why these music blogs exist, to highlight your stuff. Let’s bring back sharing videos in 2016.