The Evil Mikitty Does: The Boogie Train of Terrorized Tots

Filed in American Wota 1.0

What about the children? That is often the rallying cry of those who wish to clamp down on the ills of our society. Who will protect the children in a world of depravity and immorality? Parents can’t do it by themselves, it takes a global village. Shall we blame a media that exposes too much, a government that doesn’t regulate enough, other parents who are too lax with their own children? Shall we blame Canada and that bitch Anne Murray too?

In the case of U15 idols, though, the rallying cry becomes a bit murkier. What about the children? I say if the children are making songs produced by Bounceback or Tsunku, or being photographed by Garo Aida, or named Shihono Ryo and doing another panty-twisting photo shoot, I guess we needn’t worry too much about them. As long as we make sure there’s bikinis in their photobooks and that wrestling comedians are allowed nowhere near the children, I’m sure everything will turn out fine.

Which is probably why I’ll never wind up on any parent vigilance groups any time soon…

Anyway. There is a limit, however, and we must acknowledge that danger can tread the wee footsteps of U15 idols in unexpected ways. What happens when poor, defenseless H!P Kids are left under the care of an evil mastermind such as Fujimoto Miki? That’s exactly what we see in “Boogie Train ’03”, the last of Mikitty’s solo singles and a lesson in the dangers of trusting your child idols in the hands of a dangerous teen idol. Especially a dangerous teen idol who seems to suffer from a wealth of mental defects and a desire to indoctrinate little girls in her evil conquest…

Today I’m going out. Please watch the house and take care of yourselves. Mama.

We’re then treated to establishing shots of the home…

Basically, it’s chock full of tchotchkes. Which I’m assuming is meant to convey a sense of hominess – but to me, just screams “extra hours of dusting”.

Whatever happened to that stereotype of clean, minimalist Japanese design? I mean, my wife also likes to display lots of random crap – framed photos, knick knacks, even an honest-to-God shot glass collection (did I marry a frat rat?) – but I initially figured that was her European side. Now I’m not so sure…

We see Mikitty asleep.

Meanwhile, there are four H!P Kids enjoying breakfast. An adorably chubby, pigtailed Chinami serves Momoko, Erika, and Maasa.

Mikitty looks so good and pure and wonderful and really hot and intensely humpable when she’s asleep…

She wakes just a little…

Checks her alarm clock…

… and jumps out of bed! Mikitty must be a morning person. A morning daughter, even.

Chinami and company applaud their meal, unaware of the evil that will soon befall them…

Of course, the day must start with good hygiene!

Mikitty seems to really be into brushing her teeth. A larger, more phallic-looking toothbrush and some toothpaste foam from her lips would have helped this scene a great deal…

So what are the girls talking about? “Someday we’ll all be part of a great H!P Unit and – oh, wait, I mean all of us except you, Erika…”

Upstairs, Mikitty can’t find quite the right thing to wear…

While Chinami says, “Don’t worry, Erika and Maasa, your gawky-looking phases won’t last much more than a couple years, tops.”

… and Mikitty continues to work her way through her wardrobe.

Finally, behind a door with aposter that looks really familiar somehow…

… Mikitty makes her grand entrance.

So all that searching and she settles for a simple yellow dress? Could this be a reference perhaps to a similarly-colored wallpaper?

And we get repeated hints that something may be wrong here.

On the one hand, we see Mikitty walking towards us, seeming all cheerful and genki and so on…

And yet there’s all these weird flashes where the world seems frozen and… dotty. Is this how she sees the world? Is she suffering from some altered state? Would that explain her strangely uplifted behavior?

Hm… Mikitty seems to think she’s on a golf course instead of a living room full of large plants. So she’s suffering from delusions.

And then she suddenly disappears, gone in a flash!

But where did she go? The children don’t suspect anything…

At least, until a crazy teenage girl slides by, wielding her broom – previously a golf club – now being treated like a guitar.

And before the girls can figure out what’s next, she’s off like a flash. Maybe it’s her turn at the tee again?

Back in her bedroom…

Mikitty has lost her yellow dress. Well, that’s good news.

The girls either have X-ray vision or are shocked by the sudden appearance of what I may assume is their caretaker for the day…

Gypsy Rose Mikitty has only begun to terrorize the kids, however…

And when she returns to the kitchen, the H!P girls are anticipating her…

… and recoil in horror.

As for the message left on the refrigerator… hm. Could this be another hint? Given Mikitty’s behavior, is it possible that this mother’s little helper is actually on some mother’s little helpers of her own?

Mikitty is now wearing a very colorful party dress…

… jumps up on the dining table, symbolically trampling the girls’ meals and the domestic calm it engenders…

The fan, which is meant to clear the air, instead pollutes it with confetti.

Notice the maddened glint in Mikitty’s eyes…

… and the strange gestures she makes.

She has roped the four children into her world of insanity and delusions of grandeur…

… as they throw confetti and take photos of her…

… but they’re only kids, they think it’s just a game.

They don’t realize what vortex of madness they’re being sucked in, the undertow of crazed violence at the heart of Mikitty’s song and dance. In less than two years, several of these poor girls will be playing imaginary basketball in their dance routines. Coincidence? I think not.

Mikitty is enjoying the attention she’s receiving…

And yet, she also seems to act entitled to this kind of attention. It’s her birthright, she’s a born idol and is just letting the rest of the world – or at least four vulnerable kids – realize this essential truth.

And just as soon as she’s arrived as some kind of makeshift idol…

She jumps off the table and runs like a shot…

The H!P Kids are stunned, and are still taking photographs and holding onto the confetti…

As childish glee again gives way to anxiety and fear.

Mikitty goes rushing back upstairs and – wait! How the fuck did she change back into that yellow dress so fast?

The girls look at each other, wondering what exactly is going on.

Ah, photographic evidence! This’ll come in handy when Child Protective Services files its case against Mikitty…

The girls are trying to go back to their meal, but they’re now quite keenly aware of the madwoman who is in charge of them, and look up wondering what will happen next. Perhaps they even hear an odd sound of…

… mopping? So Mikitty also suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,it seems.

And judging by this pose – as well as her table-top performance – Mikitty also suffers from narcissism.

Below, the girls are now staring at the ceiling waiting for… what? Drops of blood to pool and drop down? Are we seeing a re-make of The Lodger?

Mikitty now decides to clean the hallway…

… doing so with a manic glee that seems out of place for household chores.

What is going through her mind? What brings these sudden changes of energetic pursuits?

How can somebody look so damn hot in such a simple dress?

But wait! We’re reminded again of the alternate world playing in Mikitty’s head…

… and even as we see Mikitty sink before our very eyes into this maelstrom of manic singing, dancing, clothes-changing, and cleaning…

… we realize that, in her own dotty world, she’s perfectly happy with dragging innocents down with her.

Speaking of which, the kids try to forget the trauma they just experienced, as Erika shows off her frog toy…

… whose tongue rolls out when the toy is squeezed

Mikitty’s singing in her mop, mistaking it for a microphone like a janitor with American Idol dreams…

Back in her bedroom…

… Mikitty rushes in like a shot…

… jumps on the bed (is there any elevated surfaced she doesn’t want to climb on?)…

… and – this is great! – she turns and jumps…

… and catches a stuffed animal thrown at her!

Talk about breaking down the fourth wall! One can’t help but imagine the person off-camera being instructed to throw the stuffed animal at Mikitty, tossed like a football for no other reason than that it’s funny.

I love this song to pieces. Out of all of Mikitty’s solo singles this, her last one, strikes me as the best. Even better than “Romantic Ukare Mode”, the official theme song of wota.

The song is just so exuberant and enthusiastic, and Miki’s voice is in damn excellent form here: it would be easy to just yell your way through the song but the unique quality of her voice is a key part of the song’s charm. When she hit the high notes, she does so with an effortlessness that makes me weak at the knees.

It’s funny, but this song is a perfect example of how Mikitty often sounds like she’s showing off vocally – but to deliver the song in any other way would do it a disservice. Sometimes she seems to make her voice quaver a bit too much, to make it wild for some imagined artistic effect – but really, she’s just giving the song everything she’s got. It’s makes her so distinctive a singer in the H!P stable – not so much her technical prowess (though that’s also undeniable), but the way her voice conveys a certain feeling, an urgency in the singing itself, not only the emotions the singing is supposed to convey.

The inflections of boogie woogie – in the horns and the piano interludes, especially – make it stand out from other H!P songs, one of the stronger cross-genre experiments from the collective. While I could do without the bizarro male voice thrown into the mix, even that makes more sense in this song, considering how it’s mildly analogous to the singing of blues and jazz singers from an earlier age.

As a result, a song which initially seems fluffy and mindless takes on… well, not depth exactly, but a sustained interest that most singles don’t have. I mean, I could listen to this over and over and not tire of it for hours. It’s complex without being overwhelmingly complicated, the vocals have a breathtaking range, and it’s just catchy as all get-out – right up there with “Joshi Kashimashi” and “Chokkan 2” and “Piriri to Yukou” as a guaranteed feel-good song from H!P.

I mean, come on – I can’t be the only one who counts out the “isshuu nishuu sanshuukan” on my fingers while singing along with Mikitty…

That said, perhaps the metaphor of a “boogie woogie” train for a boyfriend’s love is perhaps more suggestive than it needs to be…? I mean, really, trains and tunnels, it’s a bit obvious.

… And Mikitty again disappears like a shot.

The curtains of the house, letting in sunlight and creating a sense of warmth and brightness…

… but Idol Mikitty rushes by and closes them tight, enshrouding the house and its inhabitants in a new darkness.

“Now you are all mine to do with as I please,” Miki’s maddened eyes seem to proclaim. She’s already gotten Gocchin and Ayaya, apparently she wanted to Save The Children… for dessert.

Mikitty continues with her threats: “If you resist, I’ll shoot you in the head!”

“And you have zero chance of escaping my evil clutches!”

Mikitty is fearsome here, and – evil or not – magnificent to behold. In some ways, it’s difficult to reconcile this happy-go-lucky crazy young thing to the soured woman who seemed more than a little irked at being a sixth gen Morning Musume member.

There’s an interesting dynamic in this PV in that it’s Mikitty placed in a scenario where she pretends to be a pop idol – when in reality she is a pop idol. In effect, she is making herself a pop star by simply behaving like one – much the same way Ed Wood became a movie director by behaving the way he thought one should behave.

It’s an inversion of the mundane world / idol world dichotomy motif played out in Berryz Koubo’s “Koi no Jubaku”, Gomatto’s “Shall We Love”, and Morning Musume’s “Joshi”. Instead of showing two different worlds – one where the girls lead a boring, everyday, uncomfortable life as “regular” folks, and the other where they’re glamorous idols having fun – the mundane world Mikitty simply decides to cosplay her way into the idol world.

As a result, this PV also becomes an oblique examination of what exactly makes an idol. How do you separate the dancer from the dance, how do you separate the idol from the idolatry?

How many people do you need to follow you to be a pop idol? Are four little girls enough to justify the title? Is the dress enough? In the real world, if a teenage girl puts on a crazy party dress and forces a bunch of kids to throw confetti and take pictures of her as she dances on the kitchen table, that’s not exactly a guaranteed place on the Oricon charts.

But in the make-believe world of this make-believe game, we come to a resoundingly existential conclusion. Acting like an idol – being genki and pursuing life with a vigor and aggression that could shock others – is the only way to become an actual idol. It requires a force of will, we seem to be told: everything else just falls into place after that component.

Nice gams, by the way.

And if any idol in the H!P stable can convey force of will, of the individual’s ability to assert control on the universe, it’s Mikitty. Given her reputation as a forceful personality, the idea of her being charismatic and even bullying enough to force a bunch of H!P Kids to treat her like an idol and go along with her “delusions” isn’t all that far-fetched.

Over-exuberant? Perhaps. Crazy and evil? Well… maybe. But a good kind of crazy, and a loveable kind of evil. Sure, this kind of behavior may seem maniacal and dangerous – one can imagine the H!P kids having to seek therapy after being handled so strangely by one of their senpai – but the ends justify the means, right?

Speaking of which, we next see Mikitty again in her yellow dress, her compulsion to clean now elevated to a dangerous level.

She’s taking it out on the camera – and so, on the viewer of the PV.

Just think how horrible it would be if Mikitty hosed you down and then… squeegeed you dry… um… yeah, real horrible…

But then another flash of Mikitty madness! Altered perceptions! Benday mind-bending! It’s her world and we’re welcome to it!

It’s too late, her perception is now ours. The PV speeds up and becomes as manic as its star.

What’s she dosed with? When she said she liked speed, we thought she meant the Jpop group and not amphetamines!

The PV turns frenetic at this point, purposefully so…

We see the world through her eyes now… the OCD grabs us as we watch her mop the hallway back and forth, it never being clean enough for her…

… and as she holds tight her thrown stuffed animal, we see the manic swing in her manic-depressive mood swings. Wait, did we see a depressive side of her in this PV at all…? Never mind, questioning that ruins my argument.

We see her running up the stairs…

… squeegee-ing the cameraman yet again…

… laughing at the poor bastard even as she cleans off his lens…

… and the hallway needs to be mopped…

… and mopped…

…and mopped…

Then she threatens violence with her pseudo-golf-club broomstick, ready to go all Al Capone on the heads of any H!P Kids who disagrees with her.

And at last, a return to the scene of the crime…

Mikitty is again trying on all her outfits…

… but we know what she really wants to wear and gives into her darkest desire.

She runs back to the top of the kitchen table, ready to re-enact the bizarre idol scenario in her mind. Does this Mikitty imagine sparring with Ishibashi on Utaban, midnight couplings with Ayaya in some shabby apartment… perhaps even dressing up as a bluebird and flinging poop at passerby?

The helpless victims in her Pied Piperess march now follow her blindly, a Children’s Crusade of backup dancers who now have their own delusions of idol grandeur festering in their heads. “Miki can do it – why can’t I?”

And so we see the symbolism of squeegee-ing Mikitty: she is obviously brainwashing the children!

But all this running around and treating the future of Japanese geinou like helpless playthings can get tiring after a while.

Mikitty decides to take a breather and settle down for a second.

It ain’t easy conquering a whole Japanese pop collective. Perhaps she senses a disturbance in the dark side of her force? That this will be her last solo single and she’ll then be at the hands of the foolish temple maidens of Morning Musume?

Enjoy this respite while you can, Mikitty… Your plans will be foiled – at least temporarily – in the coming months.

The fan blows an ill-wind of manipulation and deceit and child endangerment…

… as Mikitty’s Mini-Miki Army stand at attention around her, doing their best to imitate some colorized out-take from some Leni Riefenstahl infomercial. (Remember the litany the soldiers of Germany recited 35 minutes into Triumph of the Will? I love that scene!)

Anyway, the line between reality and imagination is thoroughly blurred as we see her playing with the toy frog…

… and freaking out when its tongue lashes out at her… as if she thought it was a real frog, perhaps?

Meanwhile, back at the kitchen table putsch, Mikitty and her H!P Kids are reveling in their triumph of the will… over reality.

Mikitty is elated at how well her plan has come through – she’s convinced everyone that she really is an idol. Everyone being four kids – and of course, the audience watching this and, like me, falling prey to her talented and scrumptious Mikitty-ness.

She is now not only an idol of sorts, but also a role model for younger idol wannabe’s! The senpai has her kohai, and they now mimic her moves and words as she commands!

It’s amazing how her smile here is so innocent and happy and pleasant… and how it changes so suddenly, like a summer storm that passes through a warm afternoon.

Mikitty has apparently heeded Whitney Houston’s wisdom about children being the future, teach them well and let them lead the way… Though in her case, they’re on a highway to hell.

Ahh, Mikitty is a clever evil genius, isn’t she? She solidified her hold on the older generation of H!P by seducing two of their greatest soloists. (Well, one of their greatest soloists and Goto Maki. Zing!) Now she places her hold on the future of Hello! Project, molding them to be her minions, making them bad seeds and waiting for them to hatch in the not-so-distant future…

There’s that hint of madness in her eyes again! She has stared into the abyss and the abyss is staring back through the mirrors of her own depraved soul… that is, if she has a soul. (Am I laying it on too thick? Who cares.)

If I was a fair person – and everyone knows I’m not – I would mention that perhaps Mikitty is actually an excellent role model for the H!P Kids.

She’s strong, she’s beautiful, she’s aggressive, and she doesn’t let something like a twinge of madness get in the way of her dreams of being an idol. She’s like the Frances Farmer of Jpop…

Perhaps Chinami picked up lessons on being enigmatic from Mikitty? Perhaps Maasa learned that beautiful shoulders can be a great asset in the proper outfit?

And here is an evil look in her eyes now, replacing the madness of the earlier close-up. This is the visage of malevolence, of Mikitty-licious power unleashed on children and household tchotchkes and various cleaning implements.

Ironically, for all her cleaning, in the end, all that’s left is a big mess and…

… moving Polaroids. Do our eyes deceive us? Are those images moving, or are we just hallucinating? Or has reality has bent around Mikitty’s will after all! What should be still has become animated!

And what’s the deal with Mikitty and Polaroids, anyway? Does she own stock? Does she not trust digital cameras for the purpose of blackmail-worthy souvenirs?

There’s a price to pay at the end of the PV… and we see Miki and her little charges cleaning up the mess they left behind. This is a pretty clever joke – at least, I laughed at it here as well as at the end of Halcali’s wonderful “Strawberry Chips” – and shows that perhaps… just perhaps… even Mikitty can’t escape justice completely. That sometimes one must pay the piper and vacuum up the confetti.

So perhaps Evil Mikitty has learned her lesson… or perhaps not…


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2 Responses to “The Evil Mikitty Does: The Boogie Train of Terrorized Tots”
  1. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    Chinami is so cute in this video. =)

  2. Kd says:

    “I mean, come on – I can’t be the only one who counts out the “isshuu nishuu sanshuukan” on my fingers while singing along with Mikitty…”

    Hehe, you’re not. ^_^ And you have to jump at the “boogie TRAIN!” bit just after it. Or else Mikitty will get you in your sleep. *shudder*