Bringing you guys another PV review that is old now, but new to this blog. And this time I picked none other than Arashi’s PV to promote their newest album Love, P.A.R.A.D.O.X. Can I just say I had writing about Paradox like this? But for the sake of this blog post and being accurate I suppose I’ll have to muster through it.
Now I think it’s pretty obvious that I was going to pick P.A.R.A.D.O.X for my next PV. Mostly because I all but confirmed it in my MomoClo post. And much like the MomoClo PV I wanted to review another PV that I loved. Now, I don’t know how deep you guys are into the Arashi fandom, but when this song was released the fandom pretty much exploded. I think everyone died for a brief moment after hearing Sho’s Sakurap for the first time. (And every time since I might add.) And they took it a step further when the PV came out.
Now I have to say I absolutely love this PV. There are no better ways to describe it other than it’s mature, it’s sexy, and it’s so unexpected. Now, not to say that that is a bad thing it just takes some getting used to. Well, for me anyway. If you know anything about Arashi you’ll know that they are known for their super happy and super positive messages when it comes to music. And if you know anything about me you’ll know I live for music like that. So, obviously this Love album as a whole was a totally shock to the system. I went for going oh my god what have they done, to ok I guess I can get into this, until I was finally like wow this is amazing. I might give off the appearance of being laid back and that I go with the flow, but deep down I’m just a grumpy old man that hates change.
It took me awhile to like the music and it took me the same amount of time to like the PV. We’re talking about the group that wore giant popcorn heads and animal costumes during their last two concerts. So, forgive me if I needed a little time to adjust to something so mature. You might also be thinking, “hey aren’t PVs like Breathless and Mada Minu Sekai e mature?” And you’re right, but they were always balanced by their fun other A-side or album as a whole.
But now that I am pretty much used to it I absolutely love it. I am just completely entranced by the guys in this. They just look fantastic. They are sleek and sexy in all black suits, which does give me immediate flashbacks to the Breathless PV. But unlike Breathless these suits do have little accents that differentiated them so they aren’t absolutely identical. I guess that’s something. And it’s not just the suits that are sexy Arashi, managed to make a pretty sexy PV without being so in your face about it. It’s very subtle.
And as I’ve said before in countless female idol bikini PV posts you don’t have to show skin for something to be sexy and alluring. It’s just the easiest way to do so. Now I’m not gonna sit here and act like I don’t appreciate Yamapi’s Ero and Summer Nude PVs because obviously I do. But it doesn’t mean every PV has to do that to be appealing. I also can’t see Arashi being shirtless in a PV ever. It’s just not their image. A lot of Arashi fans also think they are too old for that and also call them middle aged men. When first of all, that’s ridiculous as they are still in their early 30’s. And second of all, you’re not middle aged until you are 40. And I don’t know about Japan but in the US if you’re a male celebrity that people consider attractive you’ll be seeing them shirtless until they are like 50.
Besides being easy on the eyes the PV isn’t exactly a masterpiece in it’s own right. It only has 3 sets and 90% of the PV is filmed using 2 of them. A majority of the PV is filmed in front of those 5 giant light panels. Which I do admit I’m not totally against, because the blue lights in between the panels give off this really cool black and blue light effect. I also really enjoy the close-up where they are just laying in a chair or just looking at the camera. I have to say those scenes are pretty hot. Subtly beckoning the viewing and flashing alluring looks. Just incredible. Can’t you feel me going crazy?
But what I don’t like is that 1/3 of the PV is in black and white. Lately Arashi has really been over doing it with color effects. Lately their PVs have been filled with blue hues (Think Face Down not the subtle blue lights here), black and white, insane amounts of contrast, and standing in a black room with just lights on their faces. Ok, I get it your lighting guy has a field day when you release something new. We get it, but it’s about enough. There’s nothing wrong with a normal lighting with maybe a touch of effects. But not every effect known to man all the time. Before we know it we’ll be seeing Arashi in sepia. The horror.
I also don’t know like the stupid giant red flower they are dancing in. The CG isn’t exactly the worst, but I just find it completely pointless. I’m also sure it’s probably supposed to be a euphemism. But I could honestly do without it.
I do really like the dance though. It’s intricate, it’s intense, and it was really choreographed wonderfully. Good choice to go to New York and have JaQuel Knight do it. The only draw back is that it’s a little too intense to do this dance and sing live. Poor Sho sounds like he needs an oxygen mask by the time he does his rap part live.
Ohno getting a little carried away with his big solo.
I’m not feeling Jun’s hair.
I love how in sync they are.
For some reason I really love this part.
Wait a minute, is Nino wearing crushed velvet? For some reason crushed velvet is my weakness.
That face Sho makes for a half a second.
You know what this PV needs? Unflattering split-screen shots.
MatsuJun’s dramatic jacket swing that actually works for some reason.
Nino is just too cute.
Idols winking, my main weakness.
Time for the most awkward part of the song and dance.
Every so often Jun looks really good. This is not one of those times.
Aiba in that hat, goodbye my friends.
It was really nice knowing you all.
Don’t tease me with that pathetic excuse for a wink.
You know what, all is forgiven.
I have to laugh at this part because of the intense focus they put on it.
Looking good Ohno.
Just no words for this.
Maybe going a little too crazy there Sho.
I love how it changes scenes while they jump, such a cool effect.
I’m glad there’s clearer lighting now because I really needed to see them in hats better. Also, unintentional Sakuraiba shot.
Wow Jun’s jacket is gorgeous too.
What are they mouthing here?!
Ok, now these split-screen shots are a little better.
Wait a minute, Nino’s jacket is actually blue. That doesn’t fit at all.
I’m not even really into Jun, but this scene man.
I still don’t know what you’re whispering here!