Favorite PVs of 2005: #8, dream’s “Soyokaze no Shirabe”

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

All the other songs in my Top Ten are either dramatic or horny or clever, provoking a mix of reactions both intellectual and visceral. dream’s "Soyokaze no Shirabe" is the only one that simply makes me feel good – it’s the first song by new dream that made me think they could compare to the original 3-nin version. And since the spring, it’s a rare day when I don’t listen to this song at least once and feel happy just because it’s there.

It helps that the PV is as straightforward and enjoyable as the song. The premise is simple enough: lots and lots of white space, some dancing and singing and walking around… and that’s about it.

That said, the white space allows for some pleasantly undemanding visual tricks – mostly with perspective but also with blocked areas. (The resulting vertical bars effect is mildly similar to another great dream PV, "Solve".) There’s also a flourish with drawn lines and sketched outlines to segue from one scene to another – though since it’s all against a white background with dream dancing and walking and singing, perhaps "scene" is too strong a word.

And then there’s Tachibana Kana. In learning to love new dream, I had to realize there’s life after Mai and that life is Kana.

Hasebe Yu is another reason to love this song… though for me, at least, not as much as Kana. So yeah, I’m holding a torch for old dream still. Old habits die hard for me.

And then there’s the other girls in dream. I have to confess, I still can’t tell them all apart by much. And while I do like new dream on its own terms, its heart is still the old dream of Kana and Yu. Who went to Germany this year to perform? Kana and Yu. The other girls, for better or worse, were not deemed necessary. (Or too expensive to join in on this international trip. Same difference.)

Kana is positively scrumptious throughout, her voice warm and inviting. She starts off the song and for me it’s her song above anyone else’s. To be fair, the other leads – by Yu and a couple others (the one in the Sweet Lolita T-shirt – is that #4, the one who also kicks ass in futsal?) – are just as strong and blend in well. The harmonies on the chorus are also great, elevating the song, making it even more effervescent.

The music itself is catchy – it risks becoming generic, but the vocal talent on hand makes sure that doesn’t happen. And while generic, the elements within the song – the chimes at the beginning, the fake horns, the beat which makes you bite your lower lip and do the white man shuffle – are what makes it a feel-good song of danceable proportions. It doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel, but instead makes the wheel roll even smoother than usual.

And the choreography is excellent! That’s one thing Avex has always had over Hello! Project, as far as I’m concerned – watching the Girl’s Box acts dance is rarely a cringe-inducing experience. And here, it’s very easy-going but filled with many nice touches. The girls do some solo dancing, letting them be slinky or energetic according to their personalities – the one in the yellow basketball shirt (or is she dream member #42?) looks ready to pop-and-lock throughout the PV.

The group moves are fun, well-danced, and make you feel like these girls actually go to clubs and enjoy dancing. (H!P choreography rarely makes one wonder if Tsunku’s girls are enjoying Japan’s nightlife but the same can be said of SweetS, actually; Hinochi’s choreography makes one wonder if they use fake I.D.) It’s a nice balance of sensual, fun, and artful. It never feels sex, never mind sexed-up – but bump-and-grind would run counter to the song’s mood anyway.

Here’s one part I really like, and an example of how simplicity can be a virtue: the girls do some moves in what looks like a series of invisible steps…

And while five of the girls continue their dance up the steps, Yu and another girl go down the stairs and continue walking. This and a couple of other small touches – something with a bench, another little something with handkerchiefs – add a little bit class, as if they’d picked those moves up from some vintage movie musical where your surroundings were part of the act.

And I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the outfits the girls wear is just… well, horrible anywhere else but here.

Another example of how to make all that white space work for you: with no backgrounds or props or anything, the outfits the girls are wearing become fascinating in and of themselves. One may question if it’s meant to be something you wear on a club dance floor or when trolling for johns seeking half-and-half… but here, it’s just what the girls happen to like.

Do you think this is the same space rented by Rip Slyme and Halcali for "Stepper’s Delight" and "Electric Sensei"? If so, where’s the ping pong table?

I like the funky green hat this girl’s wearing – it just yells "Cosby Kid" at me. I also like the midriff-showing Sweet Lolita T-shirt one of the other girls wears, if only because I like the word Lolita too much. Makes me think of great Russian American novelists, after all.

Here’s a pretty young lady! Which one is she again? It always helps when the girls have to wear their numbers. Though I have to be honest: as long as I’ve got Kana and Yu to look at, the others don’t matter nearly as much to me. That’s probably why I’ve been able to figure out the full memberships of Parago and Hinochi and Berryz in the past year, but not new dream (or for that matter C-Ute, which to me is anchored by Suzuki Airi). Maybe if I go through an intense dream phase, that’ll change… or maybe I’ll just

Though really, they should just always wear their member numbers. That’d be so much easier. 

Here’s Yu and someone else dancing. It’s been a great year for Yu solo – she’s made the crossover to gravure idol look almost effortless and she hasn’t left dream.

Have I mentioned how much I love Kana? How come she doesn’t get her own gravure DVDs and photobooks? She’s the only reason I’ll watch futsal, not Gatas, and hopefully team dream will make a strong showing in the upcoming season. Whenever that is.

dream had a very solid year in 2005 – artistically, at least. In terms of sales, they could have done much better – and deserved to do better, as far as I’m concerned. But just one dream song like this one to carry me through 2006 would be all I ask for. What the heck, I can just keep listening to this one – I haven’t grown tired of it yet and likely won’t for a long time.

And okay, I’ll start making the effort to figure out the other five dream girls.

Next: I cheat for #7.


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2 Responses to “Favorite PVs of 2005: #8, dream’s “Soyokaze no Shirabe””
  1. Thea says:

    > Here’s Yu and someone else dancing.
    omg you called Erie “someone else”!! lol jk xD the reason i enjoy girl’s box too is because i am always amazed by great vocals and great dancing :] in dream, personally i think the best dancers are erie, shizuka, kana, and aya. aya is too underrated when it comes to her dancing, as sayaka is with her vocals. anyways i love this pv as well 😀

  2. Thea:

    I knew you’d be commenting on this choice! Okay, now I know who Erie is. But which one is Aya?