It’s not uncommon for a musical group to both act in and provide music for a movie. After all, these idols are trained to do may things, and among their activities, they often perform in televised dramas and live stage plays. Still, the biggest gig of all is when they get to perform in a film, which could really help boost their image. It’s now time for Tokyo Girls’ Style to take center stage as one of the hottest rising acts in Japan. Still, this isn’t a film review, it’s a hard look at the accompanying song for the film — a good indicator for the quality of the movie itself.
Let listen to Jujika by Tokyo Girls’ Style.
Here’s the official video (no subtitles as of yet):
The song is a tie in to Gakkō no Kaidan: Noroi no Kotodama, a film reviving the famous 1990’s horror film series. The title translates to “Cross,” and by what I could tell from my broken Japanese and the always unreliable Google Translate is that the song is about longing and darkness. There is an eerie tone in the lyrics but overall they seem to be vague and “creepy” in the way the throwing around the word “destiny” can be. Again because I don’t have a great translation I can’t be sure about this but it’s just too general for my tastes as far as I can understand.
I’m a real sucker for dark, gothic themes and man, does this video sate that love excellently. It’s a lot of the typical imagery, like lacy dresses and crosses and lots of red and black. Still, it’s amazing to see the aesthetic in practice, especially the neon crosses that are a nice touch, and the costumes look spot on. The choreography is tight and multi-faceted, really working the different members. The addition of the looming skull figure is great as it add a semblance of plot to an otherwise narrative-less music video. Even them starring out into space looks great because the areas are so well designed and thoughtfully put together. It’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing videos I’ve seen in a while, and while Baby Metal might have more creativity with this kind of theme, it’s Tokyo Girls’ Style that really makes it feel haunting.
The vocals of the group are tight, with strong unison and harmony when needed, but distinctive sounds for each member. It’s important for a group to sound good when singing together, something that is not always the case for idol groups. The mix of rock and electric dance styles of music also work well together, blending into each other nearly seamlessly. I really love the sound because its pulsing beat works well with powerful guitar chords with hints of classical in the background vocals. They couldn’t have picked a better sound for this concept, making it eerie without being overly cliche. The song itself with all the pieces put together works incredibly well and it’s a total ear worm, you’ll be humming it for days on end.
Jujika is a fantastic effort from one of Japan’s rising stars. While some complain that it’s trying to piggy-back off the stuff that is making Baby Metal successful, I’d argue they are still keeping their pure-as-winter-snow image that adds a different character to the song. And even if they were, so what? It’s a style that works for them with their powerful voices and strong harmonies. This is the first song of theirs I have listened to at length and I have to say I am not disappointed at all. I look forward to seeing their stuff more and more on my roster in the months and years to come…unless the ghosts get them first.
– Great video.
– Great song.
– Strong performance overall.
– Lyrics seem a bit vague.
– Some of the imagery is a bit cliche.