Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: The GazettE- DIVISION [The PVs]

I know it's been some time since I've written a review, and I don't normally review a bands PVs but the fact that the GazettE put out multiple PVs for the DIVISION album is interesting. And I actually have quite a few thoughts on them. 


This video serves quite well as an introduction to the album and PVs of DIVISION. Although it's a bit obscure, I think, visually, this video is rather stunning, especially the water shots. The dual models fit the title and idea of the album and I really like that the same models from the DIVISION album covers were used in this video, as I found the cover photos to be quite intriguing. And though the song is very short it really sets the mood for everything else. 


I, personally, am not a big fan of story line music videos. And I'll tell you why,
1. Most of the time you don't see near enough of the band members and 2. The majority of story line videos do not make sense, or they leave with you with no conclusion. That's why, unfortunately, I really dislike the DERANGEMENT PV, and that's a big disappointment because I actually enjoy the song. As this video goes on you see less and less of the band members. I think the only GazettE member whose face I actually saw up close was Ruki's and maybe Uruha and Aoi from a distance. I barely saw a shadow of Kai or Reita, as far as this video goes, their faces may as well have been non-existent. Usually, my biggest complaint when I see one the GazettE's PVs is that Kai doesn't get enough facetime. Having said that, I've also noticed that throughout a lot of their more recent PVs that Reita has been shown very little and, likewise, in this video, while you didn't really see his face either, Kai was actually shown more than Reita and in abundance. I think I saw Reita a total of two, maybe three times the entire video. When you stop and think, the DERANGEMENT PV is almost 5 minutes long and you see the bass player three times. And those three times I saw him he was completely covered up with a hood, I mean, really, it could have been anyone. That says to me that somebody doesn't think the bass player is very important and frankly, I find that upsetting. PV literally stands for promotional video, thus it should be promoting the band, and I mean the whole band. Yes, I get that Ruki  is the front man, he's the first member you see but the other members are an equal part of the band and deserve an equal part of the spotlight. If I'm not mistaken, most fans watch said videos not just to hear the music but mostly to see the band. If you don't get to see the artists that make the music than I think this "promotion" is rather lacking.
Now that I've ranted enough about that, onto the story line. I understand the premise of the story, however, a lot of the footage seems completely irrelevant, you could cut it out of the video and you wouldn't be missing anything at all. For instance, take the girl in the the bathroom with the worms, or the woman putting the chunks of meat in the blender. Okay, I get it, they're symbols, they represent something else, but they aren't really necessary. You can, at the very least, take out all that bathroom time, and have probably more than an extra minute of band footage, and you would still understand the story, no problem. This is probably one of those PVs where the director/producer had a specific vision for the video, that had nothing to do with the band itself, and it just wasn't carried out well. There are three different sets of footage: the prostitutes in the red light district and the kinky play, the blonde girl in the bathroom (which I assume is also one of the prostitutes), and then the couple at home. It seems like because there was so much footage it wasn't compiled the way it should have been. At least two of those sets didn't lead anywhere, nor was there a strong connection between any of them. The story line to band time ratio is completely unbalanced. Honestly, the whole thing just comes off as a big mess to me. If you want to see a good "story line" PV, watch The GazettE- Burial Applicant. The story is easily understood and well organized, the time given to the story and the band is nicely managed, there's quality video footage, and it definitely has some of the better acting that I've seen in a Japanese music video. 


I really favor this particular kind of video. There's no nonsense, it's just straight to the band playing, and that's
what I want to see. I think this PV was shot extremely well, it's quite artistic and moody, and the light and shadow are played up beautifully on film. The symbolism is spot on, and used accurately as a portrayal of the lyrics. For example, Ruki sings, "the skies become cloudy and impure," and " Even a flower that bloomed in rubble will one day wither." Both of those things are relayed to us through the extra footage in the video. There is also quite a bit of water shown, and Ruki uses a lot of water related words in his phrases, he talks about, "drowning in desire," "swimming in this deformed reality," "my heart was already drenched by contradictions," at one point he even says, "I crumbled into a sea of rubble." All of these ideas were represented clearly and in a way that could be understood. This is serious video and I enjoyed it. Yay! for correct symbolism. I'm also glad to see that Reita is still part of the band.

If I were to put all of these videos together and grade them as one, I could really only, justifiably, give them about a 3.5 out of 5. That DERANGEMENT PV just brings it way down for me.

Video Credit: sonymusicnetwork