Credits

I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, July 20, 2015

KOTO -- Platonic Planet (プラトニックプラネット)



So far, 2015 has not been an amazing year for aidoru. Some unique acts, such as Dempagumi.inc (でんぱ組.inc) and Especia, are still releasing interesting songs, but the more mainstream stuff seems quite slow or stagnant (with the surprising exception of AKB48, the infamous monstrous act that usually releases lackluster singles, who is having a somewhat strong year).

One other thing that started gaining attention in 2015 is the mixture of aidoru pop with rock/heavy-metal, something very well done in BABYMETAL’s case, but that is kind of ruining all the fun of aidoru pop this year, as a good portion of embryonic acts are trying to be successful with this particular style (without BABYMETAL’s sophistication, of course).

On the other hand, traditional-style aidoru Yufu Terashima (寺嶋由芙) has finally released her lovely major debut single “Fuhehehehehehehe Daisakusen” (ふへへへへへへへ大作戦) in May, and that’s a solid start, even though she still have to continue the hard work until getting the well deserved recognition. A little bit different from Yufu, but also on the lonely solo route, we have KOTO, a young (sixteen years old) and cute aidoru that adopted a quirky Technopop style since her debut in early 2014.

KOTO started with a cute video game-like song called “Kotorippu” (ことりっぷ) and the more modern “Ai wo Todokeru Oningyo” (愛を届けるお人形). Both songs were nice and surely were enough to keep me paying attention to this new and promising talent. After the release of “Ai wo Todokeru Oningyo”, she continued releasing even more interesting songs (“Question Quest” [くえすちょん くえすと] and “Valentine’s Ballerina” [バレンタインズ・バレリーナ], for example) that were all accompanied by stunning live performances from the girl, as it’s well documented in her YouTube channel.

Now, in July 2015, she’s releasing her first album, “Platonic Planet”, which includes eight amazing songs. And here I have to emphasize... all the tracks are really amazing, with no fillers at all, which is probably due to the fact that KOTO is an indie aidoru still trying to find her space (or not. Maybe she’s fine being an indie aidoru).

“Platonic Planet”, as the title suggests, is the album’s promotional song, and it does a great job at introducing KOTO’s sound to a new listener. The song is quite busy with lots of synths and blips, helped, of course, by KOTO’s aidoru vocals and the playful melody in the chorus. In a way, some Techno Kayo songs (テクノ歌謡) from the past came to my mind while listening to it, probably because of the primitive electronic usage and space disco sound, but it also screams early Perfume in some areas, which is not a bad thing at all (especially now that the famous trio is trying a little too hard on American-style electronic pop music). However, besides all the comparisons, I still find KOTO quite an adventurous Technopop aidoru on her own, and also a nice adition to the scene.

The aesthetic presented in the video is also eye candy for all the retro lovers. If I had to guess, I think they were trying to recapture the vibe of some late 80s/early 90s shows with the very low budget scenery. As one who follow aidoru’s history probably knows very well, the aforementioned period was a downpoint for aidoru singers. So, with the end of popular TV music shows like Yoru no Hit Studio (夜のヒットスタジオ) and The Best Ten (ザ・ベストテン), less popular aidoru singers (not Chisato Moritaka [森高千里] or Wink, of course) had to perform at not very glamorous TV shows.

As an example of what I think video director Yoshiaki Kotani (小谷佳晃) tried to accomplish with the “Platonic Planet” video, and also a way to finish the post in a somewhat cultural way, here’s a beautiful performance of “Cosmic Rendez-vous” (コズミック・ランデブー) by Rumi Shishido (宍戸留美), an aidoru with a Techno Kayo approach who started her singing career in 1990 with that very specific song.


“Platonic Planet” was written and composed by Kissa Sasaki (佐々木喫茶), while arrangement was done by IG.

The cute girl looks like a doll!!!

2 comments:

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  2. Hi, Marcos.

    I'm not surprised by your Techno Kayo reference...it does look and sound like something from a few decades ago. I really did like those blips and bleeps and KOTO looks so darn earnest dancing out there.

    I also enjoyed Shishido's "Cosmic Rendezvous". Those synths sounded so nostalgic!

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