For Dream!

June 1, 2008

MTV Video Music Awards Japan: Results Part ONE

So do we agree with MTV? Or is it the usual bunch of you-scratch-my-back winners. Here’s a list of results, remember that we’re judging the VIDEO, not the song ūüėČ

Before we begin, I’d like to state clearly my opinion on these award shows. MTV operates regional awards in many places: Europe, Asia, USA, Africa, etc. However, it many cases it’s the same artists taking home the same awards every time. I don’t deny that the best act should win and I don’t want fans to miss-out on seeing their favourite celebrities… At the same time though, I wish MTV would use its power to promote music from non-English speaking countries. I don’t suppose that would be a financially sound position to take though. Anyway, this particular set of results has a strong Japanese presence (not to mention a slight Korean flavour), so I can’t complain too much. It needed to be said though, before I started slaughtering Ne-Yo in comparison to Miyavi….

Best Male Video: Ne-Yo, “Because of You”

I’m stumped on this one. If somebody out there can see what makes this video so special, PLEASE leave a comment and let me know! It’s a slick video, well put together – I like the cuts where he does his solo dance routine. But that’s it. I’ve nothing against Ne-Yo, but what makes this any different from every other drinkin-in-da-club Justin Timberlake/Omarion/Chris Brown video? The mind boggles…

Best Female Video:Fergie, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”

I’ll keep this brief. I hate Fergie. I hate her music. I hate this song. I hate the fact that I have to put it on my blog. But fair dues, it’s a good video (and I REALLy hate to admit it). While the “country” look doesn’t appeal to me personally, it’s well put together and has a coherent, realistic story. It has more emotional depth than her videos usually do and (despite having the face of a dog), Fergie is convincing in the role that she plays. Ok, that’s enough.

Best Group Video:m-flo loves Emi Hinouchi & Ryohei & Emyli & YOSHIKA & LISA, “love comes and goes”

Now this makes me happy. I’m so pleased that quality artists with a genuinely good concept-video won. I’m the first to admit my idol-preferences, but I wouldn’t alter this result at all. Having so many collaborators on a single track can be difficult when trying to squeeze everyone into a short clip. At just under 6mins, this is a little longer than usual – but it’s worth it. As we skip from character to character, we follow a number of interlinked narratives without ever getting lost. The styling is fantastic and the retro dancing is so bad it’s painfully cool. Good choice MTV.

Best New Artist Video:Motohiro Hata, “Uroko”

I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t even heard of the song, let alone seen the video, before today. It’s a pleasant surprise though. The video is simply stunning, with ethereal nature shots intertwined with images of whispy figure. The performance parts of the clip are unobtrusive and, when water is featured, particularly beautiful. If you haven’t seen this video, please watch it now!

Best Video of the Year: EXILE, “I Believe”

Was this really the best video of the year? I’m not sure. I still say the dancing doesn’t work, especially in the solo shots. But the cinematography is beautiful and those children sure are cute. I can see why this won, it looks big-budget and professional. As for the concept…I don’t really see what sets it apart from an Arashi or KAT-TUN video. If you compare it to the m-flow video above, it falls short in innovation. It’s a harmless video though, it’s not going to bother anyone. So not the worst choice ever, at least¬† MTV didn’t have to make any waves…

Best Rock Video:RADWIMPS, “Order Made”

Hooray! More cute children! And bread! Is this the perfect video? Quite possibly. It’s not what I would describe as rock in the “j-rock” sense, which most of us probably expected. However, this is a breathtaking video and I don’t begrudge it winning anything. It’s such a simple concept portrayed in an artful manner. The passing of time, the concept of innocence, of trust…the use of a mundane object such as bread to represent so much more. There’s a number of ways one can read this video. Personally, I have my own interpretation, but I would be interested to hear anybody else’s. The hotness of the band…the cuteness of the boy…I love this video.

Best Pop Video:Avril Lavigne, “Girlfriend”

This song is a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m no Avril fan but this tune is soooo catchy. The video, on the other hand, is hit and miss. I don’t like the multiple-Avril storyline. It smacks of predjudice – should we really be judging people on the way the look? I don’t think so. Please try harder Avril. However the performance clips are great. I love the pink-punk style she’s rocking, I must admit to stealing alot of fashion tips! And I for one LIKE the dancing. I can’t really argue with MTV’s choice here.

Best R&B Video:Namie Amuro, “Hide & Seek”

A good video, not a great video. I would put this in the same boat as EXILE’s win above: mainstream enough to please most people, but not striking in terms of the video itself. It’s a fun concept that works well with the song. The styling is good and the choreagraphy is strange…but suitable. Random motorbike – why? Is it sexy? I suppose it could be…

Best Hip Hop Video:RIP SLYME, “ING”

Haha, I love it. Japan may be famed for it’s strong work ethic and dedicated employees, but it creates a stereotype ripe for parody. From the very beginning this video makes a statement that the group is¬†going to toy with some taboos. I haven’t looked at a translation for the song so I don’t know how relevant it is, but I don’t really care. “Comedy” videos usually irriate me but the guys play their characters so well that I can’t complain here. How on Earth did EXILE beat this?!?!

Best Reggae Video:Shonannokaze, “Suirenka”

Reggae and enka: somehow it worked for the song. Did it work in the video? Opinion is split on this one, but personally I love it. Everyone knows that I adore traditional culture, particularly Japanese. This video beautifully captures the delicacy of the old world before thrusting us into modern culture. Linking the two neatly, it’s fair to say that this video speaks more of modern Japan than most do.

Best Dance Video: The Chemical Brothers, “Do It Again”

No matter who you are, where you live and what language you speak, there’s something that everyone can relate to: dentist hate. That’s as good a place as any to begin a video. Then a tape falls from the sky and a crazy dance spreads like wildfire. I don’t particularly like this video, but I can’t think of anything that deserves the award more. Similar to the Fergie case above, it’s not to my taste but, objectively speaking, it’s a good video. Although what else would you expect from the Chemical Brothers?

Best Video from a Film:Utada Hikaru, “Beautiful World” (from “Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone”)

Ugh. Anime. Still, at least it’s Hikki. You’ll be surprised to hear that I have actually SEEN this Evangelion film. Of course I hated it, but at least it somewhat qualifies me to review this video. What can I say – it certainly makes the anime look more interesting than it actually is.

Best Collaboration Video:¬†Koda Kumi¬†& Tohoshinki, “Last Angel”

With DBSK beside her, even Kuda Komi looks classy. It’s one of those cases where the quality of the song really improves the video, but I’m not really criticising. The energy here is fantastic and there’s a tangible chemistry between KK and the boys. Out of all the videos on this list this has, unsurprisingly, the best dancing (are you watching, EXILE?). The futuristic theme isn’t over-done, thankfully. For me, Changmin steals the show, but seriously, just take your pick…

Best Album of the Year: EXILE, “EXILE LOVE”

What does this mean? Best collection of videos for singles released from a certain album? I don’t know. I don’t really care. For over-all contribution to videos recently I would have given it to KAT-TUN. Just becaused they’re manufactured hotties doesn’t mean that their videos can’t be quality. But their album wasn’t released then so I suppose they don’t qualify. EXILE? I don’t think so…

 

That’s it for Part One. Part Two will be up soon! (^_^)/*

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