The verdict is in! Apparently she’s running on both!
Okay, so I was wrong, and there is a video for 嘉陽愛子‘s 勇気のチカラ [Kayou Aiko’s Yuuki no Chikara]. And it’s a nice little video, certainly nothing like what that single cover or the music would lead one to believe. (Though that would’ve been an interesting video itself. Maybe a holdup at a gas station and Kayou defeats the robbers by using her gas pump of rainbows, hearts, bubbles, and justice? Nah.)
The video is nothing special to speak of, and just features Kayou playing with the camera and flying sakura petals in front of a church, then playing about inside of the church, and lip-syncing . But it also gives her a different image than her voice and the song would lead you to expect.
In fact, Kayou goes back and forth between two different images. One gives her a mature-but-still-innocent look, and she looks absolutely lovely in this one. So much that a photobook of it with the single would’ve been nice. (But no, instead we got play-acting. I’ll go over that another time.) The other image… is Koda Kumi with Suzuki Ami with [insert H!P member here] with Kayou’s own personal touch of cute. I kid you not. She could actually look really pretty in this one too, but she opens her eyes far too wide for anyone’s good. It’s as though she’d shoot an Ai-pin beam from her eyes at you if you just looked at her the wrong way – and let’s face it, in a costume as odd at that, how can you look at her in a “right” way?
It’s a in bit interesting to see how it’s set up though. The sweet shots are done outside of the church, and the shots with the pop-Frankenstein costume are done inside. Don’t judge a pop idol by her cover, or something like that. But what’s also interesting is that it’s the interior shots that gets touched with computer graphics – acting as a magical ability of sorts. Kayou touches a flower and flowery computer borders bloom. But none of this is as shocking as the fact that the sparkly pink Kayou doesn’t show up until halfway through the song – we’re set up to think this will be a calm video, and then BAM! Pink and sparkles and shiny robotic Kayou. I admit it makes me appreciate the outside scenes even more though.
I guess if there’s something I was expecting for the music video from this song, it certainly wasn’t this. Props to the director for coming up with whatever s/he did, because it does put both Kayou and the song in a new light for me. At worst, I’m glad it’s not too anime-influenced; at best, it shows she can handle this sort of music without going too cute in her image.
But I want to try breaking down the video into its various concepts, so bear with me for a bit?
Setting: Showing off the detail in the church interior is a nice touch. It has a very fairytale look to it to begin with, but seeing the figurines up close really added to the effect. It looks like it may be part of an organ, but seeing Kayou standing in front of me makes me think otherwise. I’m really curious about that.
Also, the cherry blossoms outside of the church give something to appeal to the eye without really distracting from Kayou. I don’t know if this was intentional on the part of the director, but it’s a nice concept. Fills the screen without making it too cluttered or artificial.
Makeup: Her makeup is gorgeously natural for both exterior and interior shots. Mascara, lip gloss, a bit of blush – and you can’t really tell that it’s there. Well, okay, the mascara perhaps when she’s indoors. But I blame Kayou for opening her eyes as disturbingly wide as she does during those sequences – black lashes against the whites of her eyes are clearly going to contrast.
Smile: Kayou’s got a really beautiful smile. It’s natural and real, and conveys her emotion perfectly. Sure, you get a faceful of teeth… but it’s a happy faceful of teeth. Or maybe shy and sweet, just a bit hesitant. It’s actually the sort of smile I want, and the sort of smile I think ought to be a necessity for anyone in any pop industry.
Costume: Her outfit for the outside shots is pleasantly subdued. A white sundress, cream-colored boots, pearl drop earrings and a matching necklace. It’s a simple outfit, but not one many can pull off well. Kayou doesn’t do it perfectly – I’d like to see more of her legs, in fact – but she does look nice in it. The earrings I especially like, with a rose design where it goes into the ears.
In contrast, her costume for the indoors shots is almost glaring. Or maybe that’s just me because I don’t like pink. It’s not really pink. It’s more mother-of-pearl tinged with pink. But it’s close enough to metallic pink. She’s also got some very lacy gloves and a giant wreath of flowers crowning her head. And going back to the title of this post… I think it takes a lot of courage to wear something as sparkly as this. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to shove this image out of my head.