All that glitters is not gold.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? (Didn’t we go over this sentence before?)
As much as I’d like to blame my absence on being AAA-minded and work (Yes, this one too.), I’m afraid that’s not completely the case.
You see, Hamasaki Ayumi‘s latest music video, glitter, recently aired.
I’m not a big fan of Hamasaki. I like some songs, I hate others. This song is one of those I’m more inclined to hate.
But I can’t. Because the video is set in Hong Kong and I’ve become automatically biased as a result.
In addition to being set in Hong Kong, Ayumi stars in a little love story – somewhat appropriate given the hook of the song is “Yes, I believe in love”. Her co-star? Hong Kong model/actor Shawn Yue, who shot to relative fame in Japan for his role in the live-action Initial D despite appearing for less than half an hour in the movie. (Hong Kong movie fans will likely recognize him more as the young Chan Wing Yan from the Infernal Affairs trilogy of movies.)
And despite all my attempts to think otherwise, it’s cute. It’s actually pretty cute. If a bit stupid in delivery. Hamasaki Ayumi comes to HK to film, gets ambushed by paparazzi in her hotel and is somewhat shielded by one of her Chinese bodyguards (played by Shawn Yue) during the affair – and of course, is photographed as such. One must ask why he didn’t do anything to them because they were apparently just standing in the hallway, as was he, until she stepped out of the elevator. And then one has to ask further just WHY Ayumi is merely staring at him while Shawn is trying to bust a way out of the paparazzi wall because she’s like an immobile doll there. And not just appearance-wise. It kind of offers the paparazzi more to play with.
Of course, after seeing a tabloid cover referring to them as lovers the next morning, then she starts contemplating him even further. Insert little sneaky glances at butt. Did Nagase know about this before the breakup, Ayu? A moment later, he protects her from falling glass shards during the video filming. Okay, so this part is silly. It’s just a scratch on the hand, for whatever’s sake! And I sort of think it was deserved if in-video avex didn’t pay the equipment people enough to make sure the set was safe. Also insert more sneaky glances at butt. Though I have no idea who Shawn is dating, if he is at all. And then she gets “rescued” from over-enthusiastic fans by him, they get to know each other, it’s a happy love story for the night. Let’s ignore the fact that they look like friends in a highly awkward moment. Before she ditches him for another faction of her bodyguards, that is. Literally throws his hand away and all. This was amusing. Well, not so to my sister who is a sucker for such romantic stories.
And of course, it gets continued in the video for secondary A-side, fated. I haven’t watched that video, so I don’t know what happens, nor do I really care. Though I do find it slightly ironic that she’s technically still there thanks to the ads on a bus stop across the street for A BEST 2 -WHITE- and A BEST 2 -BLACK- after the van has driven off. (But I always found those ads creepy.)
Admittedly, in the end it’s my Hong Kong bias that leads me to like this video. The initial reaction I had when seeing the HK night skyline – something along the lines of “OH SHIT IT’S HONG KONG” – deeply amused my sister. The acting’s not bad considering no words are spoken, and the song does get you into the story, but if it were set in any other place (even New York), I’d watch it and then quickly dismiss it. I’m not ashamed to admit my favorite scene in the entire video is the night skyline, without any trace of human presence.
But say… Japan? Feel like sending more of your stars over to HK in August when I’ll be there? Give me an opportunity to do some star-sighting I’d actually care about? I’ll be waiting to hear from you.