Posts Tagged ‘kiss’

I wanna rock ‘n’ roll all night, and be kawaii, ev-er-y day

Monday, January 26th, 2015

After the major success of Babymetal, who fused Japanese idol culture with head-banging metal and opened for the likes of Metallica, Slayer and Lady Gaga, another J-pop unit is setting their sights on overseas fame and getting a helping hand from rock giants.

The teen idol group Momoiro Clover Z just released a new song, “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina,” with the help of legendary rockers . . . Kiss.

What? The Satanic pantomimes? The subterranean lizards of Detroit Rock City? Yes, that Kiss.

On Jan. 19, the two released a music video that is high on Japanese tack and low on coherence, more or less taking every possible traditional Japan cliche, putting them in a blender and turning it up to 11. Kiss — who are old enough to be their fathers — provides backup vocals and instrumentation while Momoclo do their thing with “Power Rangers”-esque transformations and sumo dance moves. The ukiyo-e-inspired video features the bands facing off with their signature brands of kowaii (scary) and kawaii (cute). After several back and forths, the leaders of each band eventually shake hands, so the world (and concertgoers) are safe for now.

While this combo might seem a bit random (a fated industry party hook-up perhaps?), the collaboration is actually cross-promotional effort as Kiss is scheduled to tour Japan with — surprise, surprise — Momoclo opening their Tokyo show. In addition, the same day that Momoclo released its newest video on YouTube, they also released an enthralling English introduction video, which includes choice quotes such as such as: “On stage, their ‘Power’ and ‘Performance’ unite the audience regardless of their age or gender.”

Kiss also plan to release their own version of “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saite Mina,” so this video is just the beginning of their budding marketing synergy. Will the aging Kiss Army happily lap up the sugarcoated sounds of J-pop? Or does this PR campaign signal more left-field J-pop collabs to come? Kyary Pamyu Pamyu vs Journey? AKB48 vs Blink 182?

Stranger things have happened — including this video.

Pucker up! It’s Kiss Day in Japan

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The groundbreaking "Hatachi no Seishun"

Check your breath and find a friend (or a kiss transmission device): Today, May 23, is “Kiss Day” (キスの日) in Japan.

The phrase is trending on Japan’s local Twitter ranking, mostly, it seems, due to tweets from people saying they had no idea that it was indeed Kiss Day. The day commemorates the date in 1946 when the first Japanese movie with a kissing scene was shown in Japan. The movie was “Hatachi no Seishun”  (20-Year-Old Youth) directed by Yasushi Sasaki and starring Kaoru Aikawa and Michiko Ikuno. The kissing scene is reportedly brief, and the actors are said to have protected their mouths from each other with gauze. But the moment was daring enough to sell out cinemas at the time. It also is said to have started debates about the meaning and appropriateness of showing kissing in films, including whether or not it was a properly Japanese — or hygienic — activity, according to the book “The Japanese Film: Art and Industry.”

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