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.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu -- Family Party(ファミリーパーティー)

Last Friday, I watched an NHK profile on the essayist and illustrator Rune Naito(内藤ルネ)who had also been known as the pioneer for the whole kawaii aspect of Japanese pop culture. The documentary showed the man in a rather tragic light as he dealt with his homosexuality in a society that at best showed (and often still shows) gay people as comical oddities, while also having to deal with the lessening popularity of his works which had once been the talk of the town as his health started failing. In the years since his death, though, the value and appreciation of his creations such as the Runepanda have grown again.

In one of the videos at the very top, there was a photo of a number of ladies holding some of the art by Naito. One of them was singer/fashion diva Kiriko Takemura(竹村桐子), aka Kyary Pamyu Pamyu(きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ), and seeing those old drawings of young ladies with those bee-stung lips and bouffant hairdos, I wondered whether Ms. Takemura had modeled her alter ego on them.

I've also come across this music video for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's 9th major single, "Family Party" from June 2014. Sounding like a visit to a very cheerful video game by Atari in the early 1980s and looking like a view of a cute battle between Kyary and a robot on the galaxy's cutest planet (maybe Thor should have ended up there), "Family Party" seems to be about trekking forward despite the challenges ahead. Yasutaka Nakata(中田ヤスタカ)took care of words and music.

To be honest, not being a dedicated KPP fan, I think the author for this blog "Super Happy Awesome" has provided better commentary vis-a-vis "Family Party". The song was also the ending theme for the anime movie "Crayon Shin-chan: Gachinko! Gyakushu no Robo To-chan"(クレヨンしんちゃん ガチンコ!逆襲のロボとーちゃん...Crayon Shin-chan: Intense Battle! Robo Dad Strikes Back).

I was never particularly a fan of "Crayon Shin-chan" either but I've known about the yam-headed boy with the slight resemblance in personality to Bart Simpson. Reading the plot for this movie, finding out about Shin-chan's father being converted into a robot had me automatically reminded of Bill's conversion into a Cyberman in the last few episodes of the past season of "Doctor Who". However, I've got the feeling that the story in the "Crayon Shin-chan" movie was far less sinister.

Anyways, "Family Party" was one of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's biggest hits by reaching No. 2 on Oricon, and earning the singer an Award of Excellence at the Japan Record Awards. The song also belonged to her third studio album "Pika Pika Fantajin"(ピカピカふぁんたじん...Sparkling Fantasy Person)from July 2014. It hit the top spot on the album charts and went Gold.

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