Morning Musume’s “Sexy Boy” Preview

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I love the PV for “Sexy Boy”! Sure, it’s another low budget production and the dance is goofy and they continue to insist on black-and-white in the face of an album called Rainbow 7. But the first few seconds make me laugh like nothing else from H!P since they strapped Nachhi to a roller coaster.

The first ten seconds of the PV has the girls walking in front of the camera, looking pissed off and disturbed, stopping and doing double-takes. Like, “Is that…? What is that? It is! What’s it doing here?”

So what are we supposed to think? Are they being disturbed by a security camera while attending a white sale? Are they practicing the proper way to walk past a mirror? Are they staring into a refrigerator full of Hello! Morning food that will be denied most of them? I like the last idea, if only because I can add Homer-esque “Mmmm… pork chops” comments in my head.

We also get this quick shot of feet, which I guess is to prove that the girls are risking breaking their ankles for the sake of looking sexy.

Risa, by the way, looks especially sexy with her pout. This is the second best transformation of a Musume from audition to present – the first being Tsuji’s, of course. No one could have convinced me the pig-tailed runt could have turned out so pretty. But you know, it still doesn’t compare to how the H!P Kids developed since they first joined (and will continue to develop). The long-term logic of hiring really young idols becomes more evident…

“Eclairs?” asks Konno. “Are there creampuffs?” adds Risa, taking a peek.

I like how Miki just pokes her head from the side, like she’s afraid to even walk in front of the camera completely. Maybe it’s a microwave oven they’re looking at, and she’s afraid of the radiation. Koharu asks: “Is that a Hot Pocket?” Sayu adds, “Is it pepperoni?”

And as if that hilarity wasn’t enough, we’re greeted with a minna-lag montage of the pretty idols in floppy white summer hats. Which is both really cute and sexy and also, on some level, funny. (Perhaps because of the hats on the Rainbow 7 cover. Why repeat that?)

Future anime superstar Koharu looks really good here, more mature. Though younger than some of the Berryz, she’s able – or rather, allowed – to look older because of the unit she’s in. And she pulls it off quite nicely.

Konno looks adorable as ever.

Eri looks great! The hat looks sophisticated on her, she strikes the right kind of stare here.

Ah, Mikitty! Well, there’s no fault in her, which should go without saying. Let’s move on…

Reina looks hot, as usual, and a little more grown-up. But her singing in this PV is following the pattern from Chokkan 2 and Kouhaku – a little squeakier and more affected than what I’m used to with her. It’s like she’s trying to sound more polished but is losing something visceral as a result.

Sayumi, looking very vulnerable and… sexy. She can pull that shy move – eyes averted, then look up at the camera – better than anyone this side of Charmy. Bravo! And I want to see more pictures of her in that fuzzy red hat from Kouhaku.

And then there’s the dance… Some hand movements…

… swinging legs back and forth…

… and more arm waving.

Wait, more Sayumi! She’s second in my pecking order now. Until Reina lets her hair go black again and sings in a less affected manner, that’s how it’s gotta be. And yes, there’s more affectation in Sayumi, but currently she seems to be doing more with what talent she possesses.

I like the energy of the dancing. However…

… if they’re not careful, the girls are like one finger-wiggle away from jazz hands.

For some reason, the way Yossi looks in her hat… especially her stare… has me thinking of Penthouse pictorials from the 1970s. Penthouse used to have a thing for pseudo-Lady Chatterley style pictorials with big floppy hats and this kind of regal bitch stare that Yossi has here.

Makoto looks real nice here.

Wow. Risa definitely should get her own Alo-Hello soon. She stands out nicely in this PV, which is a welcome change of pace. But then, she’s the one hovering in front of the microwave-cam the most – maybe that’s what gives her that special idol glow.

Some more of the dance, which apparently involves lots of pointing and twirling…

There’s apparently a desire to make this dance popular among the fans, perhaps to bop along during concerts?

Somehow, I find that more horrendous than the meow-ing that Rika laughed at a couple years back.

Like “Chokkan 2”, this is one of those PVs which looks cheap but relies on the cuteness and personality of the girls to make itself watchable. The mood, though, is different: outside of the “Chokkan 2” is all about goofy, fun energy. Here, the mood outside of the group dance sequences tries to be more mature, more subdued, model-y in that strike-a-pose way… but the song is just as fun and happy as “Chokkan 2”.

As a result, I feel a mild – but only mild – disconnect between the song and the PV. I’m glad the opening stare-a-thon and dance moves leavened the mood (if inadvertently), and the eyecandy of the girls in the floppy hats is great… but…

Whatever happened to narratives in Morning Musume PVs? Seriously, the last one that comes even close to telling a story is “Joshi” – and really, it was the non-story of non-interaction on a train. I miss having a thread of events, no matter how thin or silly, to make you want to sit through a PV and think, “Something’s going to happen.” And it’s not that I demand it of every PV, but Momusu haven’t done anything like that in so long.

Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the opening seconds so much: it seems to be about something. Something I can’t take seriously, yes, but still it’s fun in its own way. Maybe they could’ve built a whole PV off just those shots. I think I’d hurt my ribs from laughing so hard, but that’d still be an improvement.

Here’s a thought for you. Watch this pointed gun move…

Now, imagine a whole arena full of Momusu fans doing the same move during a concert.

Koharu’s fitting in better and better, isn’t she? I’m real happy for her and won’t ever naysay her again on the basis of being the new girl.

Reina looking scrumptiously reserved here.

And again… when are they going to announce Mikitty’s graduation? Let her free, already!

You can’t have a calendar year of idol activities without a Morning Musume graduation. That seems inviolable in some way, and I’m getting impatient about the lack of news on that front.

One thing that strikes me about the dance sequence, by the way, is how they don’t come across as a particularly tight unit here. If this is para para lite, they should be at least more co-ordinated about it. Instead we’re talking an early-Berryz-level lack of unity – at one point it looks like Makoto’s off to the side by herself. (That may have been the camera angle, but still.) Berryz can still pull off spastic and cute, Momusu isn’t about that though.

And to the dance’s credit, it doesn’t succumb to the pitfalls of last year’s worst H!P choreography: no silly statue games, no wings, no air basketball, no grinding against each other’s legs…

I can see the dance growing on me, if only because it’s so energetic and seems to leave some of the girls off-balance as they do it. It’s like a rubbing your belly while patting your head kind of thing, where you know somebody’s going to fuck up by not paying attention.

Another shot of legs moving around randomly. I’m not sure why, but is this supposed to be important? Are the idols coming and going, talking of Michelangelo?

And being so critical and bemused, I don’t want to forget: Morning Musume’s eyecandy only continues to improve over these months. The song is catchy enough that, plot or no plot, dance or no dance, the close-ups in the floppy hats will keep my attention for the coming weeks of regular viewing.

I like this a lot…

A cute move on Reina’s part. And she does shine bright in this PV, with pretty solid singing despite my dissatisfaction. If anything, I think it’s just because I seem to always expect more from Reina than from the other Momusu. She may not be an ace or anything, but she seemed to take her talents to new heights through her first year or so in H!P, and in that light 2005 wasn’t as good. She was inarguably a solid talent, but she didn’t surprise and astonish as much, the way she did with “First Kiss” or “Yuujou” or even her solo “Memory”. Though I guess the cat outfit on the giant turntable can count as a pleasant surprise…

This video is so… white. They could have set this PV in a blizzard and it wouldn’t be any paler. On the one hand, it’s a nice change of pace from how dark the past year’s PVs have been. But again, they don’t seem to do much with it.

And what’s the deal with the all-white approach when they released Rainbow 7? Is it meant to be a clever upsetting of expectations? If so, how do the floppy hats fit into the scheme?

I can’t see this single doing considerably better than MM’s recent offerings. Perhaps higher sales than “Chokkan 2” but that’s because “Chokkan 2” was apparently so controversial among Momusu fandom. But this isn’t a comeback single, by any means, and I know there are fans like myself hoping against hope for that return to Golden Age greatness.

As far as this style of song goes, there’s tons just like it available from other artists. And the little H!P twists – particularly the semi-creepy Tsunku-ish voices singing “sexy sexy oo-wah oo-wah” – may not necessarily be what you want to set your own song apart from those others.

That said, I latched onto this song a lot faster than any other MM single since “Joshi” – I just found it a lot of fun with the proper dose of drama in the singing. It should play well in live performances and on TV shows. I can see it piquing the interest of former Momusu fans the way previous singles haven’t… but they’d have to be inclined to Momusu in the first place. Winning over converts is too uphill a battle for this single to fight out.

I look forward to seeing what the full version of the PV will look like, but I’m guessing it’s more of the same. More of the camera stares, though, would be very appreciated. Hey, they can tie it into “The Peace!”and show that what they’re looking at is a camera hidden on a toilet. That’d sort of be a return to the group’s Golden Age…

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3 Responses to “Morning Musume’s “Sexy Boy” Preview”
  1. acetonic says:

    I’ve enjoyed the song since the preview and “Dance Shot” versions came out a few days ago. The main thing that struck me at first was the feeling that Tsunku really wished he had thought up Hinoi Team. The para para, the crazy eurobeat sounding horns and the shuffling steps all look like something HT could pull off. Maybe that will wear off once I see them do it live a few dozen times.

    Speaking of Hinoi Team and Momusu, did you catch Rika’s HT impersonation on the last Hello Morning. The editors even dubbed in “Night of Fire” and put some dancing Korikki’s on the screen. HT done Charmy style, nothing else like it. 🙂

  2. Johnny says:

    Just added a SEXY BOY gif image to the forum…

    ^___^

  3. acetonic:

    I hadn’t yet seen that Hello! Morning but now want to.

    Johnny:

    Thanks for keeping the forum alive! The SweetS additions are a welcome addition, too.