Ah, Christmas time. Yes, once November 1st rolls in, Christmas preparations begin. But while we go out, shop for presents, and stress about non-denominational wrapping paper, the pop world puts out lots of Christmas/Winter Wonderland themed songs. And the Japanese pop industry is no exception. So when I saw that one of the only singles that have recently come out with full music videos was all Christmas and snow themed, you can bet I jumped on it to start off the holiday season.
So, hey, let it snow, and have yourself a merry little end-of-November, and let’s take a listen to Samui Ne, (It’s Cold, isn’t it?) by S/Mileage.
Here’s the video with English subs:
The lyrics are actually pretty sweet, the typical love fair (man, a I ever getting tired of typing that phrase over and over again). For girls their age (about 15-16) the song is relatively low key and tame, with decent line distribution. What I think really does a disservice to the song is the beat. I think this song would have worked a lot better as a ballad, and not some weird hybrid between dance music and a love song. It didn’t need such a strong, heavy bass line and screeching notes to accentuate it or make it “danceable.” Speaking of a dance, there is none in the video, I guess I’m not going to be taking about any. It doesn’t seem like the type of song that would have a good one anyways, cause of it’s soft nature, but it would have been nice to see some swagging somewhere in the video.
The costumes are pretty…atrocious. I’m not talking about the white dresses they were in their solo shots, but the group costume. I get that they like to have the girls in their specific colors, but do the costumes themselves have to look so tacky? The material looks plastic, their hair ornaments clash with the outfit, the fuzzy boats are the only wintery thing about it, and those fake cuffs seem random at best. In the end, they look like some sort of weird 1980’s Sailor Moon prototypes.
As for the video itself, there is the old motif that seems to be making its way around the Hello!Project videos of just standing there and looking at the camera while they sing. Instead of looking angry, they look sort of forlorn and sad, like in their last video. Thankfully, those aren’t the only types of shots in this MV, otherwise we’d all die of boredom. There are inter-spliced shots of the girls removing a snowflake necklace, and then staring dramatically out the window while it snows sparkles. I’ll admit, not the most subtle use of the winter motif, but it could definitely be a lot worse. And at least it’s better than awkward, stupid dancing, right? The girls seem into the act at least.
In the end, Samui Ne is actually a pretty good song, which is a cute addition to my personal collection of J-Pop Christmas albums. I wouldn’t call its video a soaring success – it seems sort of just a bland, ineffective background imagery that hurts the song more than helps. Ultimately, I’d give it a listen if you’re getting tired of all the English-language Christmas/winter themed song blasting on the radio but don’t expect too much out of it. After all, who knows if Momoiro Clover Z will come out with take back this holiday season (check out their hit Santa-San)
– Mature lyrics and tone.
– Great use of scenery and effects.
– Good use of the holiday motif without being overabundant.
– Ugly costumes.
– Beat is a little distracting.
– No dance within the video.