tomboys can be Superstars too!
…I think this may be the closest to H!P I will ever get in this blog. (Unless I randomly decide to throw in my opinions on H!P releases. But I think the Internet has enough of those already.)
Who remembers Sonim? It’s been a while since we heard from her (as compared to her former EE JUMP partner Yuuki). She’s teamed up with actress Osawa Akane (probably best known for her appearance in the summer drama LIFE) to form a n avex-backed idol duo called tomboy.
Neither Osawa Akane nor Sonim (especially post EE JUMP) is especially well known, but it doesn’t stop them from singing a song titled Superstar.
Let’s attack the song first. It’s dance pop that takes more than a bit from R&B, but also twists in rock-styled guitar riffs to the point of abuse. It’s actually a cover of a song by Korean girl group Jewelry – an interesting note when you consider Sonim is, well, Korean. Did she have a hand in picking out the song, did avex think it’d make for an interesting marketing point, or did no one care that much and I’m the only one thinking this much into this?
It’s a fun dance track, but it’s also incredibly sexy, and it actually brings to mind sultry Goto Maki until the “YEAH-EAH-EAH” hook pops in. Surprisingly, Osawa holds her own against Sonim’s much practiced vocal abilities, and the two blend and complement each other – especially near the end where Sonim is singing and Osawa does a background refrain. The rap and spoken bits work well into the song, and for idol pop, it’s a lot better than most of what’s come out in Japan lately.
Now, onto the PV. Since I’m bringing up the H!P ties and all, let’s bring up the obvious comparison – GAM. A duo of female vocalists, dressed sexily, and it’s hard to deny that the frilly bar outfits they wear aren’t reminiscent of some H!P costuming trends. But then we cut to the classroom scene, where they’re looking hot dressed in schoolgirl outfits and Sonim channels Tommy february6 with her glasses – and a different female idol duo comes to mind.
If you’ve never heard of Suitei Shoujo – I don’t blame you. They were mostly known for their anime contributions (ONE PIECE, E’S Otherwise) and “being the Japanese t.A.T.u.”, and most of their releases were done on DVD – but more importantly for this post, they took the schoolgirl gimmick and unapologetically ran with it before switching up their image back to ero-kawaii for TV and their DVD-singles. Why yes, they came before Koda Kumi’s image change – why do you ask?
There’s also a third set and bunch of outfits where Sonim and Osawa (yes, we’re back to them now) has them dressed like semi-princesses/hostesses in what could very well be a host club. It’s a trio of outfits that pronounced their femininity and maximizes fanservice at the same time without being too revealing. No prizes for guessing who avex may be trying to appeal to here. (Oh, here’s the crowning touch – the covers have them dressed in sporty clothes while still revealing midriff. Have we run through the catalog of modest sex appeal yet?)
The dance also maximizes fanservice and sex appeal, from the peeks down Sonim’s top to the horde of backup dancers prancing about. Actually, okay, the dance is ridiculous. Pelvic thrusting, hands drawing attention to boobs, jiggling, hip rolls, spanking, and there’s the part in the middle where they’re not even trying to be anything except as sexy as possible. Not to mention the dancers’ bar outfits look a lot like rejects from both Koda and Suitei Shoujo’s wardrobes for being just a tad less revealing. Just a tad, you’ll still see plenty of skin, especially if they did the dance correctly.
At least, Sonim and Osawa look like they’re having a lot of fun. Playing with the camera, singing into megaphones (yes, you read that right), doing the dance, and shining in the spotlight. Actually, I’m really confused as to why the hell they named this group tomboy. The sex appeal is overflowing here, to the point where I’m reacting to it but would still like another peek down Osawa’s top. (Please and thank you. Very much.) The name stops being ironic after the first few jiggles, you know. And I could be wrong, but I’m fairly certain both Osawa and Sonim are, well, “girly” girls. They like the girlish things, yes. Or maybe young womanly in Sonim’s case.
avex is either testing the ero-kawaii out, has more money to spend than they know what to do with, or they’re trying to overload the minds of lots of wota and teenage boys, along with breaking my brain. (I don’t know why they’d want to do that, I spend good money on AAA, dammit.) But tomboy does have potential, for all that avex isn’t promoting them extensively, so we’ll see what the future holds for Sonim this time.
The single drops on November 14th, but in the meanwhile you can check out the music video here. Yes, this was an excuse to throw in two extra screencaps. Just go watch the video already.