Tokyo Girls’ Update Recommend: Our Favorite MVs for Songs Released August 2016
With Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 being expanded to its biggest yet, August started off with one of the hottest weekends (literally and figuratively) of the year as Odaiba was overwhelmed by idols and fans from all over the world. Thank you to everyone who came to see us! As we’re still going through the thousands of photos taken, the stream of TIF 2016 articles should come to an end before @JAM x Natalie EXPO at the end of September (we hope).
August also saw the departures of Miyuki Watanabe (NMB48), Aya Shibata (SKE48), and Ami Maeda (AKB48) and the sudden withdrawal of Monami Noguchi who had just joined GEM at the end of June. Buono! had their first Budokan live but shortly before that ℃-ute announced that they will be disbanding in 2017. There was a barrage of releases from the “48/46 groups” leading the way in a tidal wave of music. Combined with the heat and humidity, it was an overwhelming month and we might still be recovering from the effects of “summer fatigue“ (夏バテ, natsubate). Our apologies for leaving out the honorable mentions for August as a result.
Here are 9 of our favorite MVs for songs released in August of 2016 listed in chronological order according to their release date.
NMB48 – “Boku wa Inai” (release date: August 3)
NMB48 went all out in Miyuki Watanabe’s last single, flying her and the rest of the senbatsu members to Thailand to film an eerie yet beautiful MV for her first song as the sole center member. Thankfully even if AKB48 seems to have given up on summer swimsuit MVs, NMB48 always comes through, this time with the dance version of “Boku wa Inai”! Other “Mirukii” highlights include “Ima Naraba”, a duet with her longtime partner in the spotlight Sayaka Yamamoto, who also composed the music and her frustrating adventures in corporate Japan with “Moso Machine 3-Gouki”.
NMB48 Official site: http://www.nmb48.com/
Team Syachihoko – “ULTRA Cho MIRACLE SUPER VERY POWER BALL” (release date: August 3)
Teleported into a mysterious golden box, the members of Team Syachihoko overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to collect their “Syachi balls” and call forth ancient powers in the headbanging madness of “ULTRA Cho MIRACLE SUPER VERY POWER BALL”. In addition to some outlandish situations, there’s a stinging jab right in the feels when currently inactive member Yuzu Ando’s pink Power Ball floats in to save the day!
Team Syachihoko Official site: https://team-syachihoko.jp/
Akishibu project – “Setsunatsuri” (release date: August 9)
Akishibu project has had a very productive 2016 so far; selling out Akasaka BLITZ in March, showing off their unbelievable jump in power during their tour finale and performing in Hong Kong for the first time in June, and stepping up to Zepp Diver City in August. While “Summer☆Summer” does have twice as many views at the moment, there’s something magical about a MV set at a Shinto shrine with the members in kimono, no?
Akishibu project Official site: http://akishibup.net/
KOTO – “Budou Yuugi” (release date: August 9)
One of the most dynamic soloists of the independent idol scene, KOTO uses her strength, cunning, and speed to defeat a series of villains in the search for her stolen katana. A big change from her earlier retro-styled MVs, “Budou Yuugi” is pretty cinematic in comparison. Hopefully, this is a sign of bigger things to come since her move to Hako Records? Even though her live performances already do most of the speaking for her, higher production value is a definite power-up for KOTO!
KOTO Official site: http://kotora.tokyo/
Keyakizaka46 – “Sekai ni wa Ai Shika nai” (release date: August 10)
There was huge temptation to pick “Kataru nara Mirai wo…” as it checked a lot of the boxes which made “Silent Majority” one of the songs of 2016 but Keyakizaka46 definitely took a step up as they flew to Hokkaido to film the MV for “Sekai ni wa Ai Shika nai”. Combining their powerful choreography with spoken word sections, Keyakizaka46’s gamble paid off as they continued to build upon their breakthrough success with another #1 ranking on the Oricon charts.
Keyakizaka46 Official site: http://www.keyakizaka46.com/
Bandjanaimon! – “Natsu no Oh! Vibes” (release date: August 24)
Bandjanaimon! found a way to outdo themselves with “Natsu no Oh! Vibes”! Filmed poolside with the members rocking out in bikinis, it might be one of their best songs yet? With the solid drumming of Misako Suzuhime, and solos by Yuzu Amanatsu (keyboard) and Miyu Mochizuki (bass), just to be safe, they add a healthy dose of cowbell on top. It’s only flaw is that the MV seems to be unavailable for viewing in the United States, which is a shame.
Bandjanaimon! Official site: https://banmon.jp/
Yukuetsurezure – “Six Fall Roar” (release date: August 24)
However you Romanize/translate the title of this song by Yukuetsurezure, the result is that it’s incredible. With the members starring as priestesses of a mysterious religion captured by ninjas, visually it is one of the most unique MVs in an extremely competitive field. Combine that with the eclectic song combining heavy metal (or whatever the proper genre is called nowadays) instrumentation and scream vocals and it’s difficult to not be pulled into their world. As if that wasn’t enough, the MV for “Nietzsche no Gikyoku” has them strung up as puppets clad in lingerie!
Yukuetsurezure Official site: http://yukueshirezutsurezure.com/
AKB48 – “LOVE TRIP” (release date: August 31)
After 3 years in a row of senbatsu sousenkyo singles resulting in songs that went viral as they urged the world to dance along with them, AKB48 take things in a new direction as they board a pink bus (a homage to the old reality show “Ainori”?) and cheer on those looking to make their feelings known to their special someone. Showing how courtship rituals in Japan take place, not all of the stories have a happy ending but life and love are not always so simple. Even though most of the screen time is given to the top 5 ranking members, a departure from the “Kami 7”, this might go down in history as being one of AKB48’s greatest MVs ever?
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
SUPER☆GiRLS – “Love Summer!!!” (release date: August 31)
With the graduation of Aya Goto in 2015 followed by those of Reira Arai and Rino Katsuta in June of 2016, the arrival of the 3rd generation members to SUPER☆GiRLS injected a fresh new feeling into the group. With Ami Maeshima leading the way, the 14 princesses of the SUPER☆CASTLE seem to be poised to surpass their previous accomplishments. “Love Summer!!!” is an infectious and breezy summer tune set by the seaside and the combinations of veteran and rookie members helps ease the transition into their bright future ahead.
SUPER☆GiRLS Official site: http://supergirls.jp/
With several typhoons rolling across Japan, even though it has become September, there’s no ways of telling what the weather will be from day to day as we begin the transition into autumn. While the big summer music festival season may be over, there are quite a few big tours and concerts coming up as the end of the year draws closer. We definitely know that there were a lot more notable MVs for songs that were released in August of 2016 that we may have not even been able to get to much less analyze and evaluate thoroughly so, please let us know which ones you felt that should have been included in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!
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