ROMANTICA from the lips? Hell yes!
I’m a bit behind, probably, since everyone else who would has probably blogged about this video already. But here’s my take on it:
This is the first time I have not wanted a dance scene or dance shots in an AAA music video. Actually, this is just the first time I have not wanted to see AAA dance, period.
Because everything else in the video for 唇からロマンチカ [Kuchibiru kara ROMANTICA] just completely overshadows it.
Once I declared Get CHU! to be the most fitting video AAA had released regarding their image as a group. (Well, actually, that still holds true.) Once I also declared Samurai heart to be my favorite video from the group, period.
…after 6 new videos from them, that’s finally being contested.
There’s a story for the video this time around – their first since CHEWING GUM, first with choreography since HURRICANE LILI, BOSTON MARI. Well, actually, I’m not quite sure what the story is. But when Nissy gets threatened by a gun and runs off with Misako to make the fangirls squeal yet again, there’s probably a story behind that. (I didn’t squeal. Well, at that. But I was amused.)
But first things first. The song is Big Band Jazzy – and the capitals rightfully deserved. While AAA has worked with brass in their music before, never in this particular style – but it’s one that works. Misako, possibly all cute-d out from Get CHU! and running on the sexy streak from SHE no Jijitsu, does low and seductive well. In contrast, Nissy, who usually delivers the best vocal performance, seems a bit high-strung. Urata, as always, varies between vocal outburst and vocal perfection for his lines in the bridge. I don’t believe any other members get solo lines in this song, but hey, it’s the short version – perhaps the longer one will surprise us. Or perhaps Urata will switch roles with Nissy yet again.
The chorus is a delight to hear. While certain voices will stand out if you listen closely enough (usually Urata, again with the lack of volume control), it meshes with the music nicely and places any problems out of focus.
With all due respect to the composers and the singing abilities of AAA, though… who cares? The director of the video gets all my admiration this time around.
We have AAA in what is basically a nightclub. A classy one, really. No stripping, fancy dress only, and they have good service and serve what looks like delicious food. But it’s still basically a nightclub. Urata is a Pimp Extraordinaire who also runs or at least manages said nightclub. Chiaki and Yukari are two pole dancers in said nightclub. (No stripping. Too bad for you.) Shuuta and Hidaka are enforcers for Urata – the former in a particularly ugly suit. And Shinjiro is a waiter at said nightclub.
So where do the two leads of AAA come into this? Nissy’s a disinterested patron, and enter Misako, the mysterious femme fatale.
I don’t really care for fan-created pairings, especially for real people, unless they’re jokingly done, or jokingly reacted to. (Example: Chiaki x Mirror. Or the Gun Pairing – Shinjiro x Misako.) But oh, for those who do, the Nissy x Misako fans may die of joy.
Though it’s not really a story, several things happen. Shinjiro points a shiny, silver
obviously a prop gun to Nissy’s head. Nissy drags Misako with him through a back alleyway. Hidaka and Shuuta have a little tiff over who gets to be on top that night. Yukari and Chiaki have a… feather fight. (Yes, I know that sounds lame.) Urata goes insane with power and tosses money about. …and Misako has a gun of her own?
Unfortunately this is also the short version of the music video, keeping in with AAA’s marketing style to get you to buy their singles, so various bits and pieces have been cut out. Clearly we’re not getting the full story – you have to buy the CD+DVD version for that! But for once, here’s a video where that incentive is actually compelling (same with Shalala Kibou no Uta, but the DVD version actually offered nothing to resolve that freaky ending). I want to know more about this twisted tale. Why is Nissy dragging Misako’s arm off? Why does Misako have that gun? What suddenly happened between Hidaka and Shuuta?
So the “story” is clearly the star of this video – what happened to the dancing scenes? Yukari and Chiaki dancing on stage look fine, with the pole or without. They look downright sexy. But Shuuta and Hidaka wiggle in their showcasing scene together. Okay, so you can call it twisting or whatever you want, but it just looks bad. And the group dance just doesn’t fit. I know I called for more acrobatics and usage of AAA’s 8 members, but this is a song where that doesn’t work. Some swing dancing moves would work just as fine, and fit the music much better. Instead, we have flips and carrying that seems out of place – even more so by the bad way the dance shots were edited in.
But that aside, the video is glittering, gorgeous, glossy, glamorous, golden, glitzy, and I think I ran out of g-adjectives. But it’s beautiful.
This is also one of the themes for Nissy and Shinjiro’s drama, Delicious Gakuin, which I actually haven’t watched yet because I wanted to avoid hearing the song until the PV aired. And oh man, am I glad I did.