The Evil Mikitty Does: Sapphic Seduction and Gomatto

Filed in American Wota 1.0

Now, everybody knows that Mikitty and Ayaya are a romantic item. Okay, maybe just really good friends. But we like to think they’re secret lovers, in the grand Hello! Project tradition of projecting similar lesbianic fantasies on Tsuji and Kago, as well as Rika and Yossi… Hm. Maybe it’s a fourth gen thing, since Mikitty also considers herself fourth gen?

Anyway, what some may not realize is that H!P’s first – and to my mind, greatest – “solo group”, Gomatto, was a chance for Ayaya and Mikitty to gain a third lover in their circle. As was kindly pointed out to me in my noob-ier days (most likely by one of the cannier observers of all things H!P at, the PV for “Shall We Love?” is a tale of three roommates: two are lovers, Ayaya and Mikitty, while Gocchin is a breeder running into boyfriend problems. So Matto decide to team up against Go and convince her to switch sides.

On the one hand, there’s nothing wrong with convincing someone to switch sides. On the other hand, the way it’s portrayed in the video – Gocchin uncertain of her cad of a boyfriend, Ayaya and Mikitty being furtive and finding the weakness by which to exploit Miz Maki’s fragile state of mind – does add a layer of sneakiness that makes it feel conspiratorial, manipulative… you know. Evil.

Because if we begin with the premise that Mikitty is Evil (of course), and that Ayaya and Mikitty are lovers (of course), then it naturally proceeds from there that Mikitty is manipulating Ayaya to add a new girl to her thrall of lesbianic conquests. Simple logic, see?

The PV begins with an apartment window’s view of what’s apparently the seedier side of town… though mostly I’m basing it on the electric sign and the crowd of banners. Maybe they just wanted to live somewhere with a lot of fast food available?

The girls live in a place that manages to be cozy, hip, and well-appointed. I mean, anyplace with a frikkin’ pinball machine has got to be a nice place to live.

Gocchin comes home, looking sorta hip with a matching cap and sweater combo. The following is a rough translation of the conversation in the opening sequence, courtesy of The Official American Wota Subtitles Translator (a.k.a. The Wife)…

Miki: Hey, you’re late.

Mikitty looks all innocent with her pageboy haircut and concerned greeting. She also throws us off the scent – sneaky little minx! – by sucking on a lollipop.

Gocchin: Yeah…

Ayaya: Where’s the CD I lent you?

We get a sense of tension already, as Ayaya plays the role of bitchy territorial roommate. Notice the bracelet and the camouflage T-shirt – she’s giving off a very butch vibe, though with Ayaya that’s never a bad thing.

Ayaya: Give it back to me soon.

And what CD is it, anyway? k.d. lang perhaps? Bikini Kill? Sleater Kinney? The Ladies of the LPGA Sing Selections From the Lilith Fair, Live at Madison, Wisconsin? Or maybe it’s the latest w-inds… No! No, we can’t consider that. That’d just be too horrible.

Gocchin: Okay.

She seems a bit removed, distant… something is on her mind…

Gocchin uses her handy, and the drama kicks in.

Gocchin: Hello?

Gocchin: What were you doing?

Notice how Ayaya and Mikitty at first seem to pay no attention to their striped roomie…

Gocchin: Where were you?

Except now we see Ayaya listen in, even though she’s got her headphones on. She’s not really listening to anything!

Gocchin: You’re lying. Whatever.

And look at how Mikitty also takes a sharp interest in the phone conversation. The evil mastermind senses that the game is afoot! That is, if a foot fetish is something she has. Ayaya has nice feet, doesn’t she? Ayaya has nice everythings, after all.

Gocchin: I’m leaving now for my part-time job.

Gocchin: I’m busy. I’m hanging up.

Ayaya: You’re wasting your time.

Ayaya offers an innocent opinion…

Mikitty: You don’t even have a part-time job.

And Mikitty twists the knife in Gocchin’s heart by pointing out the silly lie she had to make.

From there, a sudden rush of light and change in scenery…

To Gomatto in some kind of weird purple space-shippy settings – like a cheaper, darker-hued version of the spaceship in “Dance Suru no Da” – dressed up in sorta sexy slinky outfits.

The girls all seem to be following a template for these outfits: show off the long hair and belly-button, and make sure to emphasize the largeness of your ears. I get a sense that this is how they’re supposed to look if they go out clubbing or whatever…

Gocchin is clearly the focus of the video – she’s the one with boyfriend trouble, she’s the one the camera loves most during the singing / dancing sequences. Her look here is somewhat different from her usual style: less girl next door, more girl on the next barstool… She doesn’t seem completely comfortable with the look, either – I guess it’s taken up to “Glass no Pumps” before she could fly the skank flag proudly.

Like Gocchin, Ayaya hit it big from her very debut in Hello! Project, quickly becoming the number one soloist. Her look for the dance sequence is good, but not really her best. She seems to look her best in bright colors and broad styles – as a quintessential cyborg idol, this would only be natural. While this kind of style may be outrageous and distinctive for others, on her it’s actually a very muted, toned-down affair.

Mikitty seems to be the junior member in this trio of H!P divas, if only because she’s the newest of the group… but that’s exactly what makes her so effectively evil! We wouldn’t suspect that this adorable, talented, beautiful young lady is seeking to control the other two idols in her unit. After all, she sings “Romantic Ukare Mode”! Someone like that couldn’t possibly have an evil, manipulative bone in her body!

She is also the one who goes through the most luscious makeover for the dance sequence of the PV. She goes from her tomboyish hairstyle to this magnificent pigtail that accentuates those large, beautiful ears (as does the earrings). That said, was her hair long enough for such gorgeous pigtails, or is she using extensions?

As the girls sing and dance, the lights sometimes go out and turn back on, and places them in shadow and then illuminates them. This symbolizes, um… the conflict in their souls! Yeah, let’s run with that.

As Gocchin moons over her boy trouble, Ayaya and Mikitty seem to be having fun…

Mikitty looks so innocent here! What a contrast to that pigtailed vixen in the dance sequence! One can imagine the dance sequence Mikitty stealing this Mikitty’s lunch money.

And though everybody seems to be going about their own business…

Ayaya has nefarious motives for putting on make-up…

Specifically, she’s trying to keep an eye on Gocchin!

Perhaps to make sure that, in a fit of depression, Gocchin doesn’t beat Ayaya’s high score on the pinball machine?

The song itself, by the way, is fantastic. I love how dramatic it is, the distinct vocals from each idol, and the skittish R&B beat that keeps you on edge. I consider it one of H!P’s finest songs from the era where H!P made their transition from chart-topping powerhouse to a less-successful (but stable) pop institution, up there with Aa’s “First Kiss” and ZYX’s “Fly High”.

My heart now keens whenever I hear Mikitty’s voice – my heart breaks just a little in a sweetly satisfying way – and I think this is the first song in which I realized how distinct a singer she is. (I stumbled onto her solo work much later on, unfortunately.) I feel a yearning, not for Mikitty exactly, but in sympathy to the passion in Mikitty’s singing.

Technically, I think there’s a wildness in Mikitty’s singing sometimes, a lack of control that she’s learned to rein in somewhat and utilize effectively over the years.

This isn’t meant to discount the abilities of the other two. As far as I’m concerned, Ayaya deserves to be the number one soloist in the H!P stable and none of the other girls in the collective come close. The closest contender? In my opinion, Suzuki Airi – in another half-dozen years.

I don’t think anyone foresaw this idea of a “solo group” to continue after Gomatto – ostensibly, if I recall correctly, this single was meant to help promote imminent solo album releases by all three girls. And really, they should have left well enough alone in the case of this particular concept.

It’s a shame, but I think that there hasn’t been a decent “solo group” since Gomatto. I really wasn’t fond of Nochiura Natsumi, and Def. Diva did little for me – though I applauded the addition of Rika, she’s certainly earned her place as one of the acknowledged heavy hitters of the H!P collective. I still haven’t really listened to GAM just yet, though initial reaction seems to have been mixed so far.

Gocchin notices she’s being watched! Quick, Ayaya, start dabbing yourself even more with make-up!

Everybody acts like there’s nothing going on, no tension.

Gocchin finally joins her roommates.

Mikitty pretends to read, Ayaya is still brushing herself absent-mindedly. Gocchin is staring at her keitai, still tormented.

Meanwhile, Ayaya looks pensive. Or maybe she’s checking her high score on the pinball machine again. Territorial roommates are always a hassle, one way or the other.

The girls strike a pose…

… and the lights go out again. Another sign of impending evil taking place. Or forgetting to pay the utilities bill. You know how young people in their first apartments can be.

And here we see what evil takes place: Gocchin moves for her phone and Mikitty runs an intercept!

Returning to the dance sequence, one can’t help but wonder if this is another version of the “there but for the grace of Tsunku” scenario of the unhappy schoolgirls in Berryz Koubo’s “Koi no Jubaku”. Instead of being junior high students stuck in the study hall from hell, though, we instead have the dramas of being young girls – perhaps college students? – who have to deal with crap boyfriends and roommate intrigues.

The life of a young idol, on the other hand, is more glamorous. You dress better (ostensibly), you don’t have to worry about boy troubles because your occupation forces you to not date (nudge nudge, wink wink), and you’ve got a great job instead of having to worry about college or an entry-level crap position in some firm or retail chain.

If you’re an idol, all you have to do is strike a sexy pose, belt out a line or two, and all is right with their world. Right? It’s as simple as that, right?

Anyway, back at the apartment…

… we see a beckoning hand.

Mikitty and Ayaya are the audience, and they seem amused…

At least, amused enough to bonk their heads together, something which is stupid on other people but is just adorable when they do it.

Gocchin steps out in a new outfit that’s – what? The top is hideous, that “belt” or whatever sucks, and the straw hat just screams Urban Cowgirl Fashion Victim at me! Really, Tim Gunn would not approve – and we all should bow to Tim Gunn.

However, this sequence where the girls try on different outfits made me think… is the dancing sequence just an elaborate dress-up party? Is this like a room in their apartment, where they go to dress up in club outfits and dance routines to themselves? And if so, how much are they paying for this place?

Mikitty whips out the big Lego-looking Polaroid – let that be another hint! she’s all about the photographic evidence! – and starts snapping away.

Gocchin and Ayaya pose with… well, a bunch of ridiculous items.

The flash of the camera only serves to emphasize how they’ve given up their souls to the person taking the photograph.

And in the dance room, the girls are engulfed in shadow…

… leading to near-total darkness. Notice the lights beaming through the window, though – a stylized corollary to the windows of the apartment.

Gocchin starts to take pictures…

… as Ayaya puts on some horrendous glad rags of her own.

Gocchin snaps pictures as Mikitty laughs so much, she can’t even be screencapped clearly.

Ayaya blows her party favor…

Well, if we were dirty-minded about it, that could be something meaningfully sexual and sinister, can’t it? “Lemme blow your horn, Gocchin. I’ve got magic lips.” Or some such line.

Then we see Mikitty and Ayaya arguing vehemently behind Gocchin’s back. What could they be arguing about? Perhaps who gets first dibs on the third gen love machine when she finally switches teams?

And here we see Mikitty laying down the rules: “Who’s your bitch, bitch? You’ll do what I say or you’ll wind up singing nothing but lame-ass ballads for at least a year.”

Here’s something I have to ask, though: do young women really play dress-up like this when they’re bored, or to cheer each other up? And then take pictures of it? To me, it seems real contrived – moreso than the notion of them in clubbing clothes and doing a dance routine.

On the one hand, I know that trying on dresses can be a functional kind of thing, getting ready for a night out or a special date. But what the girls are doing at the apartment seems more like… I dunno… cosplay, perhaps? Like the apartment version of the Gomatto girls are yearning for the glamour that the real Gomatto girls have?

So now it’s Mikitty’s turn to put on a fancy outfit and she chooses something… horribly blue. Does she want to make a blue movie, perhaps?

Ayaya takes Mikitty’s photograph – but that’s okay, because Mikitty already photographed the other two and owns their souls to start with. In contrast, Evil Mikitty has no soul – so take all the photos you want, Ayaya! Mikitty still holds the upper hand over you! (You got all that?)

Mikitty shoves her face between two maracas and makes a kissy face… Hm.

I repeat: Mikitty shoves her face between two maracas and makes a kissy face. Make of that what you will.

Baby, Koi ni Knock Out! Mikitty playfully asserts herself over Gocchin. “If you don’t become my bitch, I’ll knock the maracas off you!”

And now, incontrovertible proof that it’s Mikitty who’s masterminded this seduction of poor little Gocchin…

Photographic evidence! Here Miki’s saying, “I want to lick your fishy-smelling parts.”

And here Mikitty’s clearly indicating, “Let me stick my mouth between your maracas and make blowing sounds.”

Poor Ayaya begins to feel remorse as she ponders these sordid, surreally allusive come-ons to poor, confused Gocchin.

Mikitty – cruel, evil Mikitty – is insistent and forces Ayaya to look closer.

Ayaya panics and tries to get away, but Little Girl Blue gives chase to the Deadwood saloon ho!

Gocchin laughs as the two roommates chase each other around the sofa, Mikitty still clutching the photos in her hand.

Ayaya tries to ward Mikitty off with… something fluffy. Maybe it was rubbed in garlic? Or it’s a very cute gun with silver bullets? At any rate, Mikitty is fearless and ready to pounce on her victim.

That is such a horrible outfit on Ayaya. As silly as she may have looked initially in “Momoiro Kataomoi” or “Nee”, she was able to pull off those looks effortlessly. This just has fashion disaster written all over it.

But at least she’s having fun playing slap-and-tickle with her girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Gocchin suddenly remembers how crappy her life is. She lapses into the same melancholy catatonia that she was in danger of slipping into before all these fashion-victim-cosplaying, Polaroid-taking, sofa-circumnavigating shenanigans.

Of course, idol Gocchin has it much easier. The only real boy trouble she has is fending off Ishibashi whenever she appears on Utaban.

All of which is a reminder: for all the difficulties that idols go through, for all the unwanted wota attention they sometimes receive… they’ve still got a pretty sweet life they’re leading. I mean, it’s us watching them and not vice-versa, right? That’s got to count for something.

Apparently, playing dress-up, taking Polaroids with a toy camera, and running around a sofa is quite exhausting. Ayaya and Mikitty sleep, with Mikitty in the favored position of being smack dab between Ayaya’s legs.

Dream sweet dreams, Mikitty. You’re somewhere a few hundred thousand Japanese men (and a considerable number of non-Japanese fans) wish they could be – even just once in their lives.

And for some reason, Ayaya doesn’t look all that pleased as she sleeps. Maybe she’s dreaming of future team-ups with H!P soloists…

Gocchin, however, isn’t tired. If anything, she seems envious of the peace that has fallen on her roommates…

She gets up off the sofa…

… and Ayaya opens her eyes. Again, she shows herself being deceitful! But since we know that it’s Mikitty who’s Evil and not Ayaya, we can logically assume that she’s been assigned the duty of keeping a close eye on Gocchin by Mikitty, the true mastermind of this elaborate seduction.

Hey, work with me here. I’ve got a point I’m trying to make.

So what’s the deal with the lesbianism? Not in this video necessarily, which is a point of dirty-minded conjecture (as is much of this blog, admittedly), but the preoccupation with such behavior among H!P fans? It’s not a gender thing – both male fans and female fans squee equally over the kisses and touches. In general terms, though, female fans seem more intent on imagining elaborate romantic scenarios, while male fans just consider it a prelude to girl-on-girl action.

But the idea of homosexual idol love in Hello! Project is something that many of us take for granted – if not as fact, then certainly as conjecture. Why is that, exactly?

Heterosexual or homosexual, I love this move from Mikitty! Oh, and the other two, too. But especially Mikitty. And with those pigtails.

I think part of the H!P lesbian mystique comes from what may be called Catholic Schoolgirl Syndrome: the belief that draconian measures to keep a girl pure and innocent will only result in a backlash, and that if a girl in an all-girl setting begins to feel her sexual awakening… Well, “When in Rome…”

Which brings up another aspect to consider: idols are often right at the age when sexual awakening and experimentation are expected. Instead of a boarding school or a college dorm, however, they’ve got promotional videos and television shows and backstage dressing rooms in which to play out these tentative steps towards a mature sexual identity.

Of course, another reason the lesbian angle plays so well among H!P fans is because H!P itself makes such a big deal of it. Yuko kisses Nacchi, Tsuji kisses Kago, Yossi romances Makoto… In the “Aisha Loan De” PV, Mari dresses up like a ska guy in an ill-fitting suit and tries to date all the other Musumes!

And really, what we have right here could be Exhibit A, as kawaii and endearing as it is.

Statistically I’ve read that ten to thirty percent of all people are homosexual, depending on which study you believe. So with over forty girls in the current H!P stable, that means anywhere from four to fourteen of the current line-up are queer.

That said, apparently in its extended history H!P has far exceeded the national average in Japan for pregnancies out of wedlock.

Though really, I think years and years from now, we’ll all be dropping our jaws in disbelief and thinking, “She was really a lesbian? And that other one wasn’t? I got it all completely wrong!” (This is experience talking, by the way – the same year I had a woman move in with me and finally dispelled any suspicions friends and family had that I was gay – suspicions I purposely led along, for reasons I won’t go into right now – my sister came out of the closet. It was a weird switcheroo in the Mescallado clan, lemme tell you that much.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if a May-December romance between Yuko and Chinami eventually blossoms. It’ll be fiery and end in tears, but it’ll be a love that will be legendary and for the ages.

The quasi-romantic couples that H!P fans seem so fond of – Fujimatsu and Ishiyoshi and Tsujikago and Kumaisudo (okay, I just made the last one up, but let it dance in your minds some) – are merely adding another dimension to their idol persona by marketing themselves with a special companion and fellow idol.

And that’s the best way to enjoy it – as a possibility, not as some hard-and-fast “insight” on these girls and their private lives.

If every other aspect of an idol’s life is mediated and marketed for maximum wota pleasure, for public presentation to the masses and mass media, wouldn’t the same be true for these intimations of homosexual romance as well? Which isn’t to dismiss the friendships that these girls share – there has to be a basis for the intimacy, after all. But to think that we truly know these idols in their private life, never mind their sexual identities when some are at an age when sexual identity is still being molded and defined… Well, that’s a bit too big a leap for me.

Myself, I’d actually like to think Ayaya and Mikitty are a couple, because they do seem so happy together and Mikitty’s sourness during her early Musume months needed whatever relief could be found. That said, I don’t know for sure, will never know for sure short of a highly unlikely press release – or yet another Friday scandal – and doubt if it’s any of my business anyway.

As idols, such attention to “are they or aren’t they” is allowed to fans – as a point of conjecture, for fanfics and comic strips, for inside jokes – and is probably even encouraged as such. It’s another way to approach the imaginative space that Japanese pop inspires in us – but again, the emphasis is on imaginative. But as always, there’s a limit.

And I must confess, I’m not awed by lesbians or find them particularly compelling. I’ve dated a couple – pleasantly in one case, disastrously in another – and my sister’s now in a long-term relationship with a fine young lady in Manchester, England. Knowing it’s best not to go where I’m not welcome, the erotic / pornographic aspects of lesbians has always been practically nil for me. Girl-on-girl action is usually something I speed through when I’m watching AV…

I like to think that we’re an evolved enough society to understand that if women enjoy each other’s pleasure, that doesn’t mean they desire or need “the right man” to set them straight, so to speak. Which doesn’t mean one can’t bask in the beauty of two lithe, nubile, female forms engaged in the most intimate of contact, if one so chooses… Especially if the female forms in question are idols as memorable and hypnotizingly beautiful as Mikitty and Ayaya.

After all, it’d make for a great H!P photobook, wouldn’t it? A guaranteed bestseller, even.

Back in the dreary apartment world of the alternate Gomatto trio, Ayaya decides to blow her horn…

… her multi-colored party favor! Sort of like… I don’t know… a rainbow, perhaps?

Gocchin is still lost in thought…

… but the battle cry of lesbian freedom reaches her ears!

And meanwhile, still safely ensonced at Ayaya’s crotch…

Mikitty finally shows that she hasn’t really been asleep, either.

That, or it’s a loud fuckin’ party favor Ayaya has.

Still blowing the horn, Ayaya dramatically stops after getting everyone’s attention.

Party time’s over. It’s time to get serious. And wow, who’d’ve thought that camouflage would be a good way to make Ayaya look even bustier than usual?

And now it’s clear: Gocchin standing off to the side, Mikitty and Ayaya on the couch. Gocchin has a choice to make: stick with the cruddy boyfriend, or join her roommates in homosexual bliss? Night after night of maraca-shaking, fish-licking, dressing-up fun! It’s an unfair choice, really.

And so, the significance of the song title – that is, the true Evil Mikitty meaning of the song – is at last revealed. “Shall We Love?” is a plea, of course, a question suffused with desperation and insecurity…

… but in Mikitty’s scheming, maracas-kissing hands, it’s also a challenge. A dare to her would-be conquest.

She is asking Gocchin: “Shall we love? Are you woman enough for me? Do you have what it takes to let go of your boyfriend and run into my arms?”

As she waits at the window, perhaps cursing the unfortunate choice in curtains, the other two girls sneak up behind her…

… ostensibly to supply “moral support” – but really, they just want to close the deal.

No pressure, Gocchin. Whatever you choose, we’ll support you all the way. Hey, do you still have my Jeanette Winterson novels? I need them back soon.

One last, loving look at Mikitty in those gorgeous pigtails. Why hasn’t she tried that look since then? I’m glad she got rid of that old tomboy hairdo, but she hasn’t ever been as adventurous with her coiffure as she was here!

And before I forget, let me add that the choreography of the dance sequence is also enjoyable. It’s fun seeing the girls take turns at the center: even with Gocchin as the de facto star of the group, she’s played out as first among equals in the video, which was the right decision.

The girls mostly stand and emote, but there’s enough variations in the moves – and the light-and-shadow play of the setting – to make this dance sequence interesting in its own right. It does help that all three idols are riveting to watch in their own right…

Gocchin realizes she’s run out of minutes and is going to incur overages. Her decision may have just gotten easier…

Gocchin then has to decide what to do..

… she seems to be unsure of what to do just yet…

… but her lovely Gocchin fingers move across the keys…

… and she decides…

… to erase the guy and, in doing so, symbolically say goodbye to her het life.

On either side of her are the winners for the battle for Gocchin’s soul and libido.

Gocchin seems sad… really, what she needs is some time alone with a fresh container of Ben & Jerry’s. I’m thinking Cherry Garcia, given the outfit she’s wearing.

But no, she has entered the darkness willingly. Like Lucy Westenra, she has embraced the spell of a dark being of malevolent power, and is engulfed in it, like an unpaid electricity bill that leaves you grasping and cursing the world for its injustice.

Though the question should be asked: given this difficult choice, would we fare any better? Never mind WWGD, think of your own morality. What if Mikitty asked you to switch teams for the sake of her enjoyment?

If you’re a young woman and Mikitty takes an interest in you, would you be so flattered – or so easily gulled by her wiley manipulations and schemings – that you would jump into the sack with her?

Or if you were a guy and Mikitty said it would really turn her on if she watched while you and Tsunku did a bit of Brokeback Mountain cowboy-style love. Would you do it?

I know I would, but what the heck- my family’s old suspicions would be confirmed anyways. And though I know Mikitty is evil, she remains irresistible for that evil.

Anyway, the girls decide to walk away from the window…

Oh, and it looks like Mikitty had won that earlier argument with Ayaya, as Gocchin goes off with her. But did we have any doubt that she’d have first crack at Gocchin? She orchestrated this in the first place!

I’m assuming that Ayaya consoles herself by playing some pinball and maintaining that high score.

Here, they point out with a simple hand gesture, “We are now one, united. Stonewall was a riot! We’re living out loud!” and so on.

That, or they forgot what song they’re in and are doing the “Love Machine” L.

The lights go out, symbolizing Mikitty (and Ayaya’s) dark triumph over the innocent and vulnerable Gocchin. Shall We Love? You Bet We Shall!

And we return to the window, closing the PV the same way it began. Which would be poetic or meaningful, or maybe they just couldn’t show what else is going on in the rest of the apartment now. I imagine Gocchin and Mikitty wrestling on the sofa, clothes tearing, maracas flying, fish being smacked around, while poor Ayaya can only focus on her pinball the way she had earlier focused on putting on make-up…

Ah, young love!

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2 Responses to “The Evil Mikitty Does: Sapphic Seduction and Gomatto”
  1. CJ Marsicano says:

    I’d like to think that the CD they’re fighting over is The Minutemen’s Double Nickels On The Dime. I gather SST releases are at a bit of a premium, much like MoMusu/H!P discs are over here. 😉

  2. Amanda says:

    What I’d like to know is how you know all those dyke musicians. *laugh*