I already released my recommended March 2018 idol songs here and now I’m moving on to the PVs! My recommended PVs will be listed in alphabetical order, so don’t take this as a ranking of any sort. Let’s get started!
Dear L mana – Love You
Love You was released last December as a B-side to Dear L mana’s first single, Futari Nemuru Made, but its PV was just released this month. Now, I’ll be honest, my bias is probably showing a bit here. Dear L mana is one of my favorite groups, mostly because I really like both of the girls, Coco and Kurumin. Still, I don’t think I’m entirely speaking out of bias. They’re a pretty small group that doesn’t have that big of a fanbase, but the PV to Love You while simple looks very nice, has a lot of cute moments, and really shows the charms of both members. I think it’s a bit weird that Coco’s singing in a bathroom for part of the video and the house looks a little fake at times but the scenes with Coco and Kurumin in bed, cooking in the kitchen, and dancing on the porch are nice. My favorite parts are the imaginary date scenes where the camera follows Coco and Kurumin doing things like walking around the park, shopping in Harajuku, and looking at the Christmas lights. Love You’s video definitely gives Christmasy vibes so I think I would have preferred for it to have been released in December, but it was a nice surprise to get a new video when I wasn’t expecting it.
HKT48 – Buttaoreru Made
Buttaoreru Made’s PV is everything I wanted after hearing the song. It’s colorful, fun, amusing, and just a blast to watch. The HKT members do a lot of really silly things, including punching through walls, shooting lasers from their eyes, biting plates in half, chucking bombs, and karate chopping TVs. Those parts are great, but I also really like the dance shots. The dance itself is fun (particularly the raise the roof move in the chorus) and the use of mirrors, a rotating platform, and an interesting use of color makes it even more visually appealing. Buttaoreru Made’s video showcases the personality of the members better than your typical idol PV, so it’s a good watch if you want to get to know the HKT members.
Keyakizaka46 – Mou Mori e Kaerou ka?
Most idol PVs are pretty basic, so it’s nice when you get one that can be analyzed and make you think. Mou Mori e Kaerou ka? is definitely like that. It seems to take place in a world where idols are mass manufactured, have no feelings, and are thrown out when there is no use for them anymore. The Keyakizaka members end up escaping from the factory, led by Yurina, and at the end, their feelings pour out and they express them through dance. There’s a lot more going on in this PV that I didn’t even get into, but I’d have to do a full PV analysis for that (which I probably won’t). The production values for this video are ridiculous and it must have taken ages to shoot and put the whole thing together. Mou Mori e Kaerou ka’s PV is absolutely stunning and the formation dance scenes in the factory are particularly beautiful. It’s blocked in America, but I found another place you can watch it (with subtitles) here.
Manekikecha – Atashi no Nokori Zenbu Ageru
Manekikecha’s Atashi no Nokori Zenbu Ageru is a drama style PV that clocks in at a whopping eight minutes. This PV might be long, but it’s worth watching 100% and it’s easily my favorite of the year so far. The video follows the stories of five different girls who are going through a rough time in their lives. The stories are as follows:
-A girl who fell into depression, gave up on her dream of being a singer, and is now searching for an ordinary job
-A student whose forbidden relationship with her teacher is discovered
-A basketball player who dedicates her life to the sport and is injured before a major game
-A daughter who is caring for her dying mother
-A girl who feels entirely alone in life and starts to act out
I think almost everyone can relate to at least one of these stories, which is part of what makes the PV so great. Atashi no Nokori Zenbu Ageru’s video is very emotional and has plenty of both tragic and hopeful moments. I’d like to talk about it more, but I think I’ll make an entire PV analysis and review post for this one later.
Moso Calibration – Tabi wa Kimizure Yo wa Nasake
While Tabi wa Kimizure Yo wa Nasake, the lead track off Moso Calibration’s recent album Moso Douchuu Hizakurige -Moso Traveling-, is just a pretty good song, the PV is great. It follows the travel theme of the album and each of the five Mocali girls travel to a different place in Japan: Iori goes to Hatsushima, Usa goes to Ito, Mahiru goes to Yokohama, Yumeko goes to Ogawa, and Nia goes to Kawagoe. They first released the five videos separately, but the official music video combines them all. There’s so much going on, lots of cute moments, and it’s a great way to see what different parts of Japan are like.
Niji no Conquistador – Triangle Dreamer
Triangle Dreamer has been one of Niji no Conquistador’s main songs since…well, as long as I’ve known them and already got a release a while back, but its first and only PV was just released. All of the girls look super cute in the closeups, we get a few different outfits, and the dance shots look great and make nice use of triangle formations. Triangle Dreamer is a song about girls loving guys, girls loving girls, love triangles, and unexpected developments in the pursuit of romance, so we get to see lots of cute and funny scenes of the Niji no Conquistador girls confessing to each other and realizing they have feelings for one another. While the song mentions a love triangle with a male classmate and a female best friend, the video just features the members, who are obviously all girls. If you like yuri, shipping idols, or you’re just a general fan of watching cute girls do cute things, give Triangle Dreamer a watch.
SHINGEKI – Rainy
Rainy ranked #3 on my top songs of 2017, but the music video wasn’t released until months later. Following the trend of yuri, shipping idols, and love triangles, Rainy’s music video is the story of three best friends, played by Kotono, Imoko, and Nagisa. Kotono is clearly in love with Imoko, but Imoko is seeing someone else (Momo). Nagisa cares a lot about her friends and might even have romantic feelings for Kotono, but Kotono only has eyes for Imoko. Momo is cheating on Imoko with someone else (Hibiki), which Nagisa discovers after seeing the two of them on a date. Nagisa confronts Momo about this, but Momo is defensive and doesn’t want to talk to Nagisa. Later, when Nagisa, Imoko, and Momo are out together, they run into Hibiki and Imoko sees Momo and Hibiki’s matching rings. Imoko then confronts Momo and tries to see if Momo’s still wearing the ring, but Momo won’t show Imoko and walks off. Imoko is hurt, calls Kotono, Kotono comforts Imoko, and Imoko realizes that Kotono was actually the one all along.
It’s a pretty simple story, but I think it was really well done in the music video and it’s not too often that you get story driven PVs from underground idol groups. You’ll notice I left out all mentions of gender in the plot synopsis. The song clearly states that a boy and a girl are singing to each other and in the music video, Kotono sings the boy part and Imoko sings the girl part. Kotono and Momo are clearly styled in a more masculine way, while Imoko, Hibiki, and Nagisa look very feminine. Whoever directed the music video probably intended for us to think of Kotono and Momo as guys and Imoko, Hibiki, and Nagisa as girls, but you can obviously interpret it however you want to. Anyway, Rainy is both worth listening to and worth watching and I hope more idol fans will start to love SHINGEKI as much as I do.
Yumemiru Adolescence – Sakura
Lately there’s been a lot of cell phone PVs, huh? Your enjoyment of the PV for Yumemiru Adolescence’s Sakura probably depends on how much of a fan you are of this trend, but I think it’s definitely one of the best idol cell phone PVs out there. They really take advantage of the platform and use camera tricks, selfie angles, phone applications, lighting, and perspective to make it really entertaining to watch on your phone. Like always, Rei Kobayashi looks great, but it’s a shame she cut her hair. Anyone else agree? It’s blocked in America, but if it’s not blocked in your country or you have a VPN, pull out your phone, give it a watch, and let your mind be blown.
That’s it for my favorite PVs released in March 2018! Which PVs were your favorite? Did I miss out on any of your favorites? Let me know!