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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu -- PONPONPON

This was a Maid Cafe in Odaiba that would look ideal
for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. However, I was informed
that the place has since gone the way of the dodo.

Marcos V. was the one behind all of the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu(きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)articles so far. However, I came across one myself which I'd like to bring into the "Kayo Kyoku Plus" fold, and it's her debut single. So I guess I can say that here is a KPP for KKP (how does a one-handed clap sound?).

Strangely enough, for all of the stunned reaction to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's first entry into music "PONPONPON" and its music video, I didn't particularly leave my room blinking my eyes at warp speed as if I were suffering a Pokemon attack. And perhaps that was because I was rather accustomed to all of the weird Japanese street fashion trends that had come and gone in areas such as Shibuya and Harajuku in Tokyo. Yep, as I was walking through those areas for fun or on my way to work, I've seen quite a bit: loose socks, visual kei, gyaru fashion, yamamba. goth-loli. And about a couple of years or so before I left Japan for good, there was some sort of fashion thing sprouting from Shibuya which involved young women dressed up as if they were Marie Antoinette with their layers of blond hair atop their pates.

In any case, "PONPONPON" and its video were fine but I wasn't particularly stunned at this then-new aspect of Japanese pop culture that possibly had folks in the West going "WTF?!" Released in July 2011, the song was written and composed by songwriter-producer Yasutaka Nakata(中田ヤスタカ), the same fellow behind the Perfume phenomenon.

Not sure how "PONPONPON" did on Oricon but it did hit No. 6 on the Japan Billboard Top Airplay list and No. 9 on Japan Top 100 (Billboard), and a new Japanese star was born.

Whenever I hear about Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who I started hearing about after returning to Canada, I remember that insight that Marcos once stated a few years ago. To paraphrase, a few decades back, Japanese pop music (or a segment of it) was about reaching out to the West but in these times, it's been about the West coming to Japan. And I think KPP is one example of this. The above video, by the way, was uploaded by someone by the name of Momoko and it depicts a flash mob performance of the song in the nation of Mauritius.

Trivia of the day is that the lass has a full version of her name: Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu(きゃろらいんちゃろんぷろっぷきゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ)! Will wonders never cease?

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