fragile they are not.
Here’s a take on a boyband: Pretty boys. They wear makeup and clothing that makes them look naturally beautiful. They sing. They look shiny. They leech money off fangirls.
Now here’s a take on a visual-kei band: Pretty(-ish) boys. They wear makeup and clothing that makes them look gothically beautiful. They sing. They look feminine. They leech money off fangirls.
Now here’s AcQuA-EP: Pretty(-ish) men. They wear makeup and clothing that puts them somewhere between casual and punk. They sing. They look… shiny. (I think. I’m having a hard time on that one.) And of course, they leech money off fangirls.
AcQuA-EP is a not-so-new group (they debuted late last year in September) composed of 8 men, all hosts from the most popular host club in Osaka (Club AcQuA). Obviously, this background in hosting means they know how to work it and con more money out of those willing to give them attention, regardless of age (and possibly even gender). The eldest (Naoya) turns 32 this year, the youngest (Naoto) turns 23. No, I’m still not able to distinguish who is who. Give me a break (and several months – it took me that long to identify who was who in NEWS. After they got reduced to 7/6 members.)
The video for fragile we are!! was released to promote their first album, Didn’t See Us Coming, released this past Wednesday. Fitting to their image, it’s a song that starts out pop, much like something you’d hear from KAT-TUN. (Actually, I’m BSing here, I haven’t heard much KAT-TUN stuff. It just sounds like something KAT-TUN could sing.) And then it dives headfirst into rock, and then switches back into pop.
The setting? Some dilapidated Japanese village, with the entire PV being filmed in sepia. There’s really not much to it if you don’t like to watch these boys – all they do is lipsync, give attitude, and walk through the village, and one of them plays the guitar. Oh, and one guy sits in the middle looking like he’s about to commit seppuku – but never actually does. He just thrusts the sword into the ground with an angry face at the camera.
While I guess it helps to know what faces to put to what voices, it made it really hard to take them seriously. They either get too into the J-Rocker mode, or not into it enough. I actually laughed at various times, though the video was clearly not meant to be amusing. I did find it a nice touch at the end, where the kanji on the backs of their robes pretty much read “AcQuA” (but with appropriate kanji for the appropriate sounds).
It’s a bit of a shame, since the song’s not bad at all. The music has enough variation in it to not get too boring, and while some of the voices are a bit weak for this type of song or too thick for my liking, they do a nice performance considering they probably haven’t had much training. The melody’s pretty catchy too – I found myself able to hum along after watching the PV just once. Though I don’t know if I’d ever be able to sing “like a fragile we are!!” out loud without breaking up into laughter.
I’ll definitely be giving the album a try, but as far as promotion goes, they could’ve done much better. I’m sure there would’ve been fangirls who would kill to see them do choreographed fighting, and there could’ve been better shots taken for some of them. Actually, I’m not even sure if all of them got screentime. Hmm… better work on memorizing faces and names.