Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hiyori Hime Promotional Video!

Here it is:

My first reaction is, "holy hell, they got themselves a budget!" Now we know why their last few videos looked like they were financed through Ami's daughter's paper route - apparently they were saving up for the big one.

Ok, probably not really - and I wonder why they suddenly have such obvious cash to spend. Is it for Shiina Ringo, who wrote and produced the song? After all, she's one of Japan's biggest stars. Not to say Puffy don't deserve it - I wish they had a big budget for all of their videos. But the difference between this and, say, "My Story" is pretty stark.

It is a great video, though, so I'm not complaining. Both girls look amazing in it.

I'm going to need to listen to the song itself a few more times to form an opinion on that. I'm actually pretty new to Shiina Ringo, and while I love the two albums that I have, I honestly have never heard a song written by her that sounded good being sung by someone else. (That list is not very exhaustive, though. Tokio and Utada Hikaru are about the extent of it, in addition now to Puffy.) Her voice is just so distinctive, and at least at her best is just so filled with emotion, that I think it's really listening to her that makes so much of her music so good.

One immediate thing I don't like is the mix. I feel this way about a lot of Puffy's recent stuff - the guitars are just too low in the mix, the vocals too high. This was supposedly produced by Shiina Ringo in addition to being written by her, but her own stuff is not mixed like this (at least not her early stuff; I haven't heard a lot of the later albums with Tokyo Jihen). It makes the song sound a little wimpy.

But I will listen again, and maybe I'll form a different opinion (or just get used to the mix).


  1. Well, the poor mix could possibly be attributed to the fact that it's just a Youtube video. Those usually tend to have lower quality sound. I guess I'll just have to wait and listen to an official recording to see.

    I love it though!

  2. I'm just speechless *o*
    this PV is amazing!

    I think they always had a budget...but never knew how to spend it well on PV's...
    you know, Atarashii Hibi and Umi he to, for example, have got some pretty well done PVs =D

    The disgrace from crappy videos like My Story may be just lack of criativety xD

  3. Matt:

    I thought about that, except that Shiina Ringo's own videos don't sound like that on YouTube. I was kind of expecting a noisier, more in-your-face kind of song. The songs of hers that I know are all pretty tough, even the ballads and even the songs with no guitars at all. She's just got this roughness to her music. And that comes across on YouTube as well. But I don't feel it here.


    Oh I love some of their other videos. But I think most of them have been pretty low-budget. "Atarashii Hibi" is a good video but it's just them riding around on bicycles, if I remember right. But I like the old-timey look of it and the summery feel. It was shot on Super 8 film, though, which is really cheap. In the past, they were pretty creative with their low budgets. I thought "My Story" was just kind of lazy, it didn't really even have a concept.

    But this has to be the most obviously expensive video I've seen from them - the one where you can really see the money. Some videos look cheap but really cost a lot for whatever reason - this one looks like it cost a lot. Lots of different locations, lots of props, expensive sets, different lighting setups, large cast, lots of post-production effects, etc. Renting those kimono and someone to dress them properly probably wasn't cheap either! I know from experience that it takes about 3 hours to get yourself into one of those things.

  4. Plus, they wasted the stars... an incalculable expense.

    I'm breathless. Want to see the movie!

    February 25 is a long way off...

  5. I hope they try to make a PV for DOKI DOKI (just like they've done with Yuki ga furu Machi) but of course it should be as good as Hiyori Hime...

    I've just realised...it seemed they were recording My Story for ages, but now it seems they started recording last week xD

  6. i love the video! the music is so-so for me. I remember the song more so because of the video and not the rhythm or beat. Ami and Yumi's "characters" remind me of the Kill Bill character O-Ren Ishii. And i think that the final scene with the picture really entices the viewers to see more.

  7. Single sounds decent but not spectacular. I am curious about the cartoon and how the song will mix with the OP animation. I'm not a big fan of the Tale of Genji but I like the director they're using (Osamu Dezaki) for the new TV version.

  8. Hopefully fixed - someone else reposted.

  9. Try this:


  10. Thanks - didn't even realize it was broken again. Fixed again...

  11. And broke again!

    Nothing makes such exquisite sense as spending a lot of money on a promo video and then not allowing anyone to see it. (Well, maybe producing music DVDs and then preventing most of the world from watching them legally. That comes pretty close.)

  12. Ha. And they've taken them all down from YouTube now, apparently. Well, this won't stand. I'll have a new one up here shortly.

    I don't think it makes any sense either. Japanese record companies seem to be about 4-5 years behind American ones. This is the kind of thing I'd have expected from the RIAA when they were going on their self-destructive rampage that ended up costing them about 30% of their business over the past five years. They've now wised up somewhat and rather than pulling videos down, they just take ownership of those pages and reap the ad revenue from them (well, except for Warner). Though at least one of them disables embedding, which also makes about zero sense. They clearly haven't learned their lesson completely, but they're still about 100 miles ahead of Japan, whose music industry continues its steady death-march backwards into oblivion.

    They should realize I and others like me are doing them a favor. We're really doing their work for them. They should actually be employing people whose sole job it is to go out and promote bands by getting them as many placements around the internet as possible. Instead, we do it for them. And this is how they react?

  13. After watching it, the music seems off. Deliberately? That is the question, the guitars need to pop a little more. Otherwise I like the song. I won't say love however.