So let’s do the last-minute-a-couple-days-till-the-year-ends reviews! This triple-a side is another one of those record-making, number-one-at-least-for-a-day singles. I am not very surprised. Minus Sou ja Nai, which for me is the weakest, it’s an incredibly strong single.
Sexy Cat Story was the first pv to be released and with such a ridiculous name I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, I expected kitty-ears of course, but not much else. I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, the pv actually has some direction this time! I’ve been waiting to see that since 2015’s Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru.
I just thank my lucky stars that Winky isn’t here anymore.
Apparently this pv was “problematic” for many. The “sexy” cats were “uncomfortable” and…I don’t know, the chicken-dance was too suggestive-? I don’t really get it.
People, this isn’t AKB’s Heavy Rotation. It’s not like they’re in underwear, frolicking around a giant bedroom. There’s no Maa-Duu in the bath, or Fuku-hime making out with Oda (settle down folks, just an example). It’s as pander-y as anything else H!P does, yes, but to say it’s “too sexy” is just plain silly. If anything, it’s hilarious how, in parts, the kitties are trying so hard.
At least this time we have a theme and concept to the pv, aside from dance, close-up and stand-and-stare. The pv is similar to Egao Yes Nude, if you really have to compare it to something. The shots where they’re just lying there are pretty but don’t really add much.
The song itself is a lot of fun, with those jazzy, ‘dirty’ horns and funky rhythm. It gives the song an addictive edge. At this point, people really need to stop underestimating Tsunku. And also, stop complaining about how repetitive songs are. They are pop songs. If you don’t like hooks and repetition, you’re in the wrong genre.
If you’d look at what the song actually says, the ‘sexy-cat’ thing is the kinda Tsunku nonsense term that softens something else. As he often does, Tsunku seems to be urging girls to realize that they need to push forward in life and not just wait for things to happen. I think the use of kitty imagery has the advantage of being both visually engaging and evocative.
When you think of cats, hopefully it evokes at least some positive things: independence, agility, curiousity, ingenuity, grace etc. The theme is about taking control of things, isn’t it? Cats may look lazy, but they are certainly going to do whatever they want, by whatever means they can manage, and they don’t give a crap about what you think about it.
Ever seen a cat try to jump an absurd distance? You know it isn’t going to make it, and maybe the cat does too, but it still tries, dammit. It’s a wonderful mix of determination and over-confidence. And when it falls, it just shakes it off and moves on.
I think that’s not a bad way to approach some things.
Also? Cats will mess things up. Because it’s fun. Because it might wake you up and get you mad enough to pay attention to them.
At least we don’t have fluffy-baby-chicks like the horror days of Pyoko. Remember how we all longed for a ‘mature’ image? This is a nice little compromise, ne?
You perves need to calm down.
So the kitties this time are Leader, BOSS and Oda. I think they are definitely the best choices.
Riida – she’s cute and cuddly (but she’s not like THAT).
Oda – she looks sweet, but you can never really tell what she’ll do.
BOSS – perfect kitty is perfect. She actually shakes a bit, like a cat shaking off your scent. Then this wink.
It’s just not even fair.
The formation this time puts our kitty trio in the middle. I wasn’t that into the choreography at first, but that was mostly because I couldn’t see it. At least, not much of it. It was like a tease. There are glimpses of this really saucy routine and then it keeps cutting away.
Then I saw a performance of it and I can confirm that, yes, it’s saucy, and my initial impression was wrong. All the kitty paw action is also hilarious.
Kitty posing in the background and the rest of em sauntering around with some nice attitude. Is it the costumes that bother people? Like you’ve never seen tummeh before?
Attitude from Eri-pon, who has decided she’s pissed off at this song. Damn, girl. You’re scaring your fellow members.
E: “I didn’t do anything wrong…I’m just a BADASS!”
H: “Um…could someone switch positions with me?”
Derp-chan be derp-in!!
While Mega-derp is oddly elegant.
Ogata is a smug little dancer now.
But she is still awkward. Always, always awkward.
Can someone explain the appeal of awkward-stick-figure Ogata to me? I don’t dislike her, but I don’t get why everybody is going on and on about how she’s the best of all the 12th gen.
I think she’s interesting in that she’s so awkward. I’ve never seen anybody so awkward, even Eri-pon when she first arrived. And her initial awkwardness hasn’t gone away even a little bit! She’s still so desperate. And I’m sorry, she can’t sing on key about 95% of the time. That’s the reason she doesn’t get solo lines, people.
She’s really gonna need to Shige-it-up.
Or maybe not. I mean, everybody seems to love her anyway.
*prepares for flames*
I particularly love Oda’s little back-and-forth-head movements here. I already adore her voice (and I’m simultaneously happy-yet-concerned about her picked-on character in Momusu), but here she started to look almost Ace-like. I just hope this continues, cause she’s already got the pipes for it.
Yes Oda. Just try. And ignore the two making “yeah, right” faces in the background.
The non-kitty members seem to be busy with various activities…
There’s reading and jenga…
…And dramatically looking at one’s nails, or reaching for the antique phone.
We also have
wallpapers the girls lying down ala Egao Yes Nude:
The lyrics here are describing Masaki-kins for everybody: she can’t grow up…because that wouldn’t be as fun.
Ayumin and Maria create a beautiful parallel line, don’t they? Maria is damn tall…
I wonder if their combined awkwardness (desperation and derp) really does cause trouble.
This is BOSS. She is taking this kitty thing as the fun nonsense it is.
B: “Ah, someone’s doing her nails??”
This would be super irritating, actually. And also, a real cat would totally do it.
The way BOSS pops up here is so perfect. And of course, we’re bullying Haga, the hapless, near-invisible 12th gen member who adores her.
B: “No more reading for you!”
H: “Eeeeh? Somethings…wrong.”
Go back to sleep, sweetheart: there weren’t any words on those pages anyway.
Seriously, Haga is the cutest and I just want to give her a teddybear and ruffle her hair, but she disappears so often I forget she’s even there (spontaneous poetry – I didn’t mean for that to rhyme). She’s like a pleasant surprise every time she pops up.
It’s odd because I think she’s the best singer of the 12th gen.
And now let’s see if we can mess with Derp-chan, the 2nd best singer of the 12gen.
B: “Oh, don’t pretend you don’t like mah fluffy paws. I made Haga cry.”
Derp: “Listen Duu, that’s not cool. Haga loves you.”
B: “Oooh, kitty likes it when you fight back.”
Derp: “Seriously, stop it.”
And what does Fuku-neko do to torture our Musume robots?
Why, gleefully mess up their chess game, of course! What kind of kouhai play chess anyway?
Derp: “But I was winning.”
O: “Should…should we get mad?”
Ayumin is making a call…until Fuku-neko leaps over to hang up the antique phone. Have you ever seen her look happier in her damn life!?
F: “Oooh, whatchya gonna do? I’m the riiiida!”
F: “No fight in ya, huh?”
A: “I must hang up this phone with elegance…very, very slow elegance.”
F: “Oooh Haaaaaga. Look at my fluffy, fluffy paws!”
F: “These paws have been all over Duu-senpai. I’m the riida, after all; everybody cuddles with me.”
H: “Waaait a minute, you just get her when she’s crying before a show!”
F: “Fair enough.”
And what of Oda-neko?
The lonely kitty everybody picks on…
Who is so, so lovely, anyway? (excuse to use three Oda caps…because she’s friggin gorgeous in this pv)
First, down with the jenga, at the risk of life and limb, because Masaki-kins and Eri-pon have some tempers…
But oh, what’s this? Mega-derp is reading something?
Not anymore she isn’t. Notice how her ‘paw’ is actually just a fist. She’s simultaneously pawing-yet-punching that book away.
Oda makes one adorable mischief face. Derp is nonplussed.
Now Oda straight-up takes her life in her hands, by teasing Eri-pon.
O: “Oh, you’re so cute and tough, but I know you secretly love me and mah fluffy, fluffy paws.”
O: “I’ll take away your ‘ru’ in One Two Three-”
E: “Wooooa, hold on.”
E: “What the hell did you just say to me?”
O: “Ooooh, you’re paying attention to me!”
I have no segue into this cap, I just love everything about it.
Makino will play with you, Oda-neko. Even if you make that adorable, pout-face.
Can we talk about all the stuff happening in this cap? BOSS is perfect; Eri-pon is working that hair; Oda-neko has grown an Ogata out of her back and Fuku-neko is about to hulk-smash Mega-Derp. I think Ayumin was going to help her, but thought better of it.
We don’t see much of the dance break, but I do enjoy the slightly off, but kinda cool side kicks from the kitties. I have no idea what Ayumin and Eri-pon are doing.
Oda can feel your judgment Eri-pon, and she don’t CARE.
Fuku-neko be takin’ ALL the camera-
O: “Mah tail is in yo’ FAYCE, Eri-pon!”
E: (thinking) “Dammit.”
Iikubo (MegaDerp) has picked up her book and realized that Oda-neko was right.
I don’t think a caption is needed here: perfect face is perfect.
Time to trash the set!!! I love that Haga’s idea is to fan the pages of her book about like that and Ayumin’s just jumping for joy. Everybody ignores Oda-neko though.
Masaki-kins: anything is a good projectile.
IT’S A GLOBE! OH MY! WHEEEE!
Is she playing with Oda, or bashing her in the face?? WHO KNOWS, MAN!?
Jugglin’ like a boss. Also one of the only times Eri-pon isn’t looking downright scary in this pv.
A: “HELLS YEAAAH!”
E: “Oh, I did it. I juggled you guys!”
M: “Hey, more popcorn!”
There’s popcorn, so the logical thing to do it throw it at Fuku-neko.
She’s a good sport.
I love everything about the trash-the-set portion of the pv. Metaphorically, it’s the girls letting loose after doing everything all prim and proper. In terms of the pv, it’s just plain fun and hilarious. We never really get to see spontaneous nonsense anymore. As much as I love the dances, we don’t get dance-shots anymore, so it’s nice when the girls get to perform in a different way.
I’ll admit I haven’t found that many reviews of this single/pv, but a problem I often have is people saying a song is bad without really talking about why they think it’s bad. I don’t think this song is bad because it has a good message, it’s silly and fun, it’s catchy and singable, and the brass gives it an edge that I can really get into. I was completely blown away when I heard Mukidashite (review to come!), but this is the one I find myself listening to/singing along to the most.
As for it being repetitive, I really don’t feel that’s a strong argument against it. Again, it’s idol pop. Perhaps what you mean is, I don’t care for the particular parts that get repeated. Saying you just don’t like repetition makes me think you must just be a musical-masochist to stick around.
But who am I to judge? I am convinced I must just have terrible taste in music. I mean I liked and still some times listen to Pyoko…everybody has a problem, but I’m almost always on board.
Anyway, the embarrassingly campy kitty-ness aside, this is a fantastic entry.
Actually, I don’t really mind the kitty stuff. It’s funny.
Again, you perves can chill. Just cause Tsunku says, ‘sexy’, doesn’t mean it IS.
SHUT UP YOU THREE!!