Tokyo Girls’ Update Recommend: Our Favorite MVs for Songs Released February 2016
While 2015 seemed to be defined by big graduation announcements, with just 2 months elapsed in 2016, it seems like a possible theme for the year will be the leveling up of groups, whether in terms of performance ability or making their major label debut. Several of the groups on this list may not have the most interesting or innovative videos (although there are a lot of those too!) but, they will definitely be names to keep an eye on in the future as we move forward. There’s no doubt that graduations will continue but, we hope that they will be offset by the number of new groups or soloists experiencing great success in 2016!
Here are 11 of our favorite MVs for songs released in February of 2016 listed in chronological order according to their release date.
Juice=Juice – “Karada dake ga Otona ni Nattanjanai” (release date: February 3)
Juice=Juice continues to gain momentum, showing off their impressive dance and vocal skills as well as some amusing boxing techniques. There was also strong consideration for “Next is you!”, the song by their TV drama alter-ego group NEXT YOU, with its nostalgic sound reminiscent of older Hello! Project. Even with Tomoko Kanazawa taking things day by day due to her endometriosis and Yuka Miyazaki working through an ACL injury, Juice=Juice at less than 100% is considerably more powerful than most other girl groups active today!
Juice=Juice Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/juicejuice/
AOP (Anime O-en Project) – “Zenryoku Batan Q” (release date: February 10)
Even though we sort of overlooked their previous release “Hanamaru Pippi Wa Yoiko Dake” before our anime specialist Maririn brought our attention to the social phenomenon that is Osomatsu-san, we would not make that mistake again! On top of being the 2nd opening theme for an anime that has taken Japan by storm, the MV was filmed at a castle, has ninjas in it, and even Iyami makes an appearance! Sheeeh!
AOP (Anime O-en Project) Official site: http://aopanimelove.com/
Niji no Conquistador – “Senjo no St. Valentine” (release date: February 11)
The one Valentine’s Day song on the list has the members of “NijiCon” using some questionable fighting techniques to win the right to give their special someone handmade chocolates. You may possibly file this under “so bad that it’s funny” or “we’ll allow it because they’re cute”. What kind of shootout ends with the combatants so close to each other that they could hit their opponent with their guns? Looks like the only way to get the song is to get one of their special collab shirts at Village Vanguard or their online store because there’s a download link on the shirt.
Niji no Conquistador Official site: http://pixiv-pro.com/2zicon/
DEEP GIRL – “I kill” (release date: February 17)
Quite possibly, one of the most disturbing MVs in recent years, DEEP GIRL shows the harsh realities young women face in the MV for “I kill”. Even idols who smile brightly and perform on stage are not exempt from these pressures, as the lyrics draw from the experiences of the members of DEEP GIRL and many of their friends. Sadly, Erina announced her graduation from the group on February 28th, making it the second single where a member left the group after its release.
DEEP GIRL Official site: http://www.deep-girl.com
i☆Ris – “Goin’on” (release date: February 17)
The MV for i☆Ris’ 11th single shows the members of the seiyuu (voice actress) superstar group as their lives might be like now as their success has them doing their own solo activities but returning to their “home” in the group at the end. As the 6th opening theme song of the anime Prism Paradise (aka “PriPara”), it seems that life imitates art as the members of i☆Ris have been steadily raising their idol ranks alongside the characters that they voice.
i☆Ris Official site: http://iris.dive2ent.com/
Kobushi Factory – “Osu! Kobushi Damashii” (release date: February 17)
Whether you love of hate their leopard print-accented “gakuran” (male school uniforms worn by members of an ouendan), Kobushi Factory continues to prove their worth as one of Hello! Project’s most exciting new groups. While we don’t really understand the significance of them being in an office building, it’s a change of pace from the usual MV filmed in a studio. Perhaps it’s symbolic of something? Whether they’re running through walls in “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moshin” or ssing Natsumi Taguchi play a cherry blossom tree in “Sakura Night Fever”, if Kobushi Factory continues to release triple A-side singles like these, a lot of older groups better watch out!
Kobushi Factory Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/kobushifactory/
Momoiro Clover Z – “WE ARE BORN” (release date: February 17)
With Momoiro Clover Z doing the unthinkable and releasing 2 albums on the same day, expectations for them to do something unpredictable when it came to the MVs for any songs from it, and they did not disappoint. Any other month, a MV like MAHOROVACATION where rapping and bass slapping monks sending the souls of Momoiro Clover Z to Nirvana would have been enough to make the list but, how can that even compare to the strangeness that is “WE ARE BORN”? They’re dressed like giant babies (or some Oompa Loompa-Teletubbies hybrid) on a battlefield covered in skeletons, turn into 2D animated versions of themselves, show up as puppets dancing around a ribcage, are reincarnated, and become a marching band for a Día de Muertos parade, and that’s just in the first 2 minutes! Unless we find out directly from director Masatsugu Nagazoe (“Z no Chikai”, “Yumeno Ukiyoni Uitemita”, “GOUNN”), there’s no way to tell how he came up with such madness.
Momoiro Clover Z Official site: http://www.momoclo.net/
Akishibu project – “Change The World” (release date: February 23)
Akishibu project have grown continually stronger, having completed their first national tour of Japan, performing overseas in the Philippines and Thailand, and even dancing with robots! For their 2nd mini album, they travel to Izu-Oshima and dance in the freezing rain, symbolizing their ever-expanding world and determination to keep aiming for higher goals in 2016.
Akishibu project Official site: http://akishibup.net/
Cheeky Parade – “SKY GATE” (release date: February 24)
Known for their impressive high-powered dance videos, Cheeky Parade took a different route with “SKY GATE”, flying down to Okinawa to shoot the entire MV in 20 hours and incorporating some narrative elements as the members have a sleepover and cook up some curry before heading down to the beach. With the departures of Mariya Suzuki and Marin Yamamoto for Los Angeles at the end of June, this may be the last time in a while that many will see the original lineup of Cheeky Parade. However, the temptation to put “GARLIC&ONION” by NERFY GUINER BIEBER (Hina, Marin, Seran, and Asami from Cheeky Parade) was pretty high as well.
Cheeky Parade Official site: http://www.cheekyparade.jp/
FEMM – “L.C.S.” (release date: February 24)
Even though it was great to see FEMM finally release a new song like “PoW!”, which combined twerking with the 1950’s twist to create “TWIST & TWERK”, “L.C.S.” shows them like never seen before. Using motion capture technology and several retro visual effects, they step into a virtual world where they fall apart, fuse together to destroy an army of copycats, and a few other things which will not soon be forgotten. FEMM continues to amaze and impress, which should become increasingly important as the revolution continues to spread worldwide.
FEMM Official site: https://femm.jp/
PASSPO☆ – “Mr.Wednesday” (release date: February 24)
Even though the use of high-tech cameras to shoot the long takes in the MV for “Mr.Wednesday” and the over the top “American” visuals, there’s an intangible refreshing feeling that PASSPO☆ brings to their re-debut single on Nippon Crown Records. Perhaps it’s because they’re able to release a full-length version and a dance shot too? After some turbulence in 2015, it’s nice to see them regroup and come back strong.
PASSPO☆ Official site: http://passpo.jp/
February got off to a relatively slow start but got really busy towards the middle and finished strong. There is a definite possibility that there were some MVs that were left out or overlooked (as usual). Let us know which ones you thought deserved another look. There are already flowers starting to bloom and March is traditionally the month when a lot of sakura and school graduation-themed songs will be released, so stay tuned for more awesome songs and MVs to come!
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