High standards or fan biases: Are Morning Musume PVs really that bad?

As I’m sure most idol fans or just Hello!Project fans already know, a short PV preview was released for Morning Musume’s upcoming new single Maji Desu ka Ska. This is the second PV preview we’ve gotten and the second time the fan’s reactions have been split. Of course the reactions are split for all PVs. Opinions differ, personal preferences are taken into consideration, and quite honestly you can’t please everyone. Despite, how hard you try some fans will always be disappointed by a PV due to their own high expectations. But, when I saw the PV previews for Maji Desu ka Ska I was impressed. I was honestly impressed. The song is upbeat, the dance is simple but high energy and cute, the outfits are vibrant, vivid, and cute. But I still found that a lot of Morning Musume fans still thought the PV was terrible. Because it follows the same formula that Morning Musume PVs have followed lately.

But then I started to think, why do fans hate this formula so much? Do they not realize this is how Morning Musume has always made their PVs? If they haven’t, were they following the same group as I was? Morning Musume is my absolute favorite idol group. I follow them the closest, and I critic them the closest. When I dislike something they are doing I strongly voice my opinion about it. But it seems fans are negatively voicing their opinions just to voice their opinion. If you go back and watch all of Morning Musume’s PVs they all follow the same formula. Close-up shot, dance shot, and then random scenes of the girls when no one is singing, which is usually a mixture of close-ups or full body shots.

Morning Musume has hardly ever made a PV with an actual story line, or something else going on besides this formula. I can literally only name a handful of Morning Musume PVs that aren’t like this. And those PV are: Aruiteru, The Peace, Namida Tomaranai Houkago, Roman My Dear Boy, I Wish, Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutan-jima, Do It! Now, Mr. Moonligh ~Ai no Big Band~, and Koko ni Iruzee.

You could also argue that Egao Yes Nude, Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~, Naichau Kamo, Souda! We’re Alive, and Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii jan count as well. But I don’t count rolling in a bed, saying suki up-close, crying up close, jumping in heigh, or breaking fake glass as a story line.

I’m sure a lot of people reading this find that hard to believe. Since a lot of fans are waiting for them to make interesting PVs again. But all of their PVs have been the same. Even if you’re consciously unaware of that fact. But make no mistake, Morning Musume follows that formula and so do most idol groups. And when I say you might not be consciously aware of this, I mean because directors have tricks to make a seemingly boring/low budget PV look more exciting or entertaining.

Now, that might be them having their close-ups in a more exciting setting then the rest of the PV.

Showing more shots of the setting/having them look like they are doing something. That eludes to a storyline without actually establishing one.

Have more than one shot of the dance. Seeing the same dance in different outfits adds the illusion that you’re seeing something new, even though you’re not.

Have them do something more interesting during their close-ups. Just because they are spinning and not standing doesn’t make it less of just another close-up.

Have them wear more than one outfit, having another outfit makes the PV more dynamic. It also makes it look like it has a high budget and fans will often over look the lack of a storyline if there is more than one outfit.

Now, all of this might have been visually appealing and exciting but that doesn’t make it a storyline. A storyline has dialogue that lets you know what’s going on in it. Or it silently follows a storyline. Like falling in love, going to the beach, committing suicide, or just about anything really. Something that actually tells you a story while you watch it. Apparently Morning Musume fans want of all of Momusu’s PVs to be Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. But aside from AKB48, most idols aren’t making PVs like this. Name the last idol PV you actually saw that had a storyline. I mean like the ones you see in American music videos. I honestly can’t think of any. Within or outside of H!P.

Then if the storyline isn’t a problem, what is? If you take the storyline out of a PV you’re left only with the other pieces. Which are the dance shots and close-ups. Which are the PVs that JE and some 48 groups and subgroups are making, as well as lesser know idol groups. But I hardly ever see any of those fans complain. And I have to wonder if it’s because the fans like that formula, or is it that these groups are so popular and on top of their genres (male and female idols separately of course) that they have nothing to complain about? I’m going to go with the second one.

Here are some idol PVs that are the same caliber as Morning Musume’s PVs.

KAT-TUN-Ultimate Wheels

Hey! Say! JUMP-Arigatou Sekai no Doko ni itemo

SDN48-GAGAGA

Idoling!!!-Eve

Canary Club-Daisukki

Not Yet-Shuumatsu Not Yet

AKB48-Chance no Junban

And of course there are plenty more. But these are just the ones I could think of on the top of my head because they are recent.

But despite all this, it always seems like Morning Musume are judged more harshly. That Morning Musume is the only group making bad PVs. I don’t understand the bias between fans. And I don’t understand how harshly PVs are judged. I understand that sometimes a PV is so awful you have to complain. But every single Momusu PV gets judged harshly. No matter how much better it is than a previous PV or how similar other idol PVs are. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I might like H!P and JE the most but when their PVs suck I’m the first one to say it. And when their PVs don’t suck I’m there praising it. These are idol PVs, and to expect them to be a masterpiece is ridiculous.

It seems like fans are also judging Momusu too harshy is because they have been around for a long time and are dwindling a bit. And hating on them is the cool thing to do in the idol fandom. But what about Arashi? They hardly ever release interesting PVs or ones that break the standard formula. But they have been around nearly as long as Momusu and sell significantly higher than them. And yet rabid Arashi fangirls hardly complain about anything they do.

I don’t know, this is basically just a rant. And I’m sure I’ll get a lot of comments telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about. Or that they are an unbiased fan, so that in some way means all fans are unbiased. I think I might actually be one of the few truly unbiased fans out there. And I know that sounds extremely arrogant, but sometimes it does feel that way. I just really wanted to get all of this off of my chest. So, what does everyone think? Thoughts, opinions, disagreements. I’d love to hear other fan’s inputs.

Has Momoiro Clover gone too far?

It seems controversy has struck the girls of Momoiro Clover. Since the release of the PV for their C-side Kimi to Sekai off their new single Pinky Jones, a lot of fans wonder if the PV itself is too sexy.

Let’s start off by showing the root of the controversy, the PV.

The PV shows the girls wearing sexy, skin tight biker outfits sitting on top of motorcycles.

However, one of the main problems most of the fans and non fans seem to have is with how heavy their makeup is.

Saying the girls are too young to wear such thick makeup. Personally to me the makeup seems to fulfill some wota’s Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby fantasy.

And of course the absolute main problem people have with the PV is the ice cream.

Of course people are outraged because the girl’s are too young and the PV consists of them doing nothing but eating ice cream.

That and the ridiculous amount of sexual innuendos.

It obviously means she’s just a messy eater.

Clearly this is only to show she’s eating a drumstick.

So the obvious question is then: has Momoiro Clover done something wrong, and have they gone too far? And my answer to that is absloutely not. Now I know what you’re all thinking. And I’m sure many people reading this are scratching their heads and have come to screeching halt. But hear me out.
Do I think this PV is too sexual? Yes, for my taste of course. Should they set this PV on fire and never dare to do this kind of thing again? No, no, and a hundred times no.
Whenever I see contoversy among fans like this, it feels like I’m the only person who knows they are watching a female idol group and not a Church choir.

But I should probably start from the very begining. I first started to listen to Momoiro Clover because a big fuss was being made about them. But after listening I fell in love with them. They were sugary sweet and had a unique kimono theme going on. Since fans have gotten so used to that from MomoClo of course it’s quite a shock when you’re thrown a curve ball like the Kimi to Sekai PV. But like all the contoversy about sexy idol PVs the people who seem to have the problem are the foreign fans. I have yet to hear Japanese fans, once complain that a PV is too sexy or has too much fan service. And you know what? They never will! Heck, AKB48 had more of a contoversy with the Beginner PV because it had too much gore. Yet, absolutely nothing was said about the Heavy Rotation PV. Only the foreign fans complained. I guess most of it stems from some foreign fans not fully understanding that’s what female, and sometimes male, idols do. And probably always will do. And stuff like this is what wota expect. They would probably get bored of a group if they weren’t thrown some sort of fanservice every now and then.

As always the main factor is age. Momoiro Clovers’ age range is from 14-17. However, in idol years that’s pretty much the age to do these kinds of things. Not to mention a lot of idols were doing fanservice when they were younger then MomoClo are.

Here are some examples:

Let’s look at Massara Blue Jeans famous Love me Love me Love me dance parts.

When this single was released C-ute was 10-15. Don’t you think 10 year old Mai Mai was a little young to do such a suggestive dance move?

What about AKB48’s Baby! Baby! Baby! PV?

When this single was released AKB48 was 14-21. Don’t you think Mayuyu at 14 was too young to be running around in a bikini?

What about Sugaya Risako’s 1st photobook Risako?

Sugaya Risako released her first photobook at just 12 years old. Isn’t it a little too sexy for a 12 year old?

The list could go on and on with photobooks alone. Fans need to take all of this into consideration, and remember that this is what female idols do. Do I condone all of it, not always no. As a straight girl I hardly let fanservice phase me. And everyone out there needs to realize if they have a problem with fanservice it’s probably because it’s not meant for them. Yes, I know actual fans, or even wota, may complain about fanservice. I heard one AKB48 fan complain that Heavy Rotation was too much fanservice at once. Which is hilarious, because on the other side I’m sure fans complain when there isn’t enough.
I guess my main point in all of this is that people shouldn’t be so outraged over fanservice. It’s basically like going wine tasting and then flipping out that they are serving cheese with it. It goes hand and hand, and to complain about it is ridiculous. As for them being too young, you should realize that Japanese men are obssesed with youth. Hence why idols start out so young and stop when they are “too old” at about 24. It’s why lolita fashion exists. And why older Japanese women try to act as cute and youthful as possible. So, if you have a problem with it go to Japan and change the society there. Or until then I suggest you get some other interests, maybe you should try male idols. Their fanservice is less frequent and less intense. (Which is ridiculous if you ask me. I’d chop my own leg off to see Yamapi and Ryo-chan kiss. ;]) Fanservice will exist for as long as their are wota willing to pay for it.

Also, until female idols fanservice gets anywhere near Jrock’s you can’t really complain.

And finally here’s the PV for Kimi to Sekai in case you want to watch it.