50 YMM MVs Day 5: Yakiniku

Welcome to day 5 of our one-by-one exploration of You’ll Melt More!’s prolific output of music videos! I’m personally learning a lot myself from this project, both about the group and little fragments of Japanese society as well. Much like the first video we covered in this this series, “SWEET ESCAPE”, here’s a little glimpse into the life of Japanese social culture . The song is called “Sukiyaki” and while the idols do actually appear in this one, they mostly take on a support role to the main character, a seemingly lonely guy grilling some tasty meats…

Well, one thing you can get out of this video is an instructional course in yakiniku. The helpful gentleman even shows us how to give it a little no-stick coating! The group themselves aren’t really there, but show up projected behind the subject of the MV as he eats his dinner…

And notice the shot of the Cheki photos on the table… It’s something of a popular wota ritual to eat your meal with a Cheki or memento of your oshi, perhaps as a playful way of imagining that they’ve joined you at the table. The YMM! girls are there in spirit, benevolently looking on and singing as their fan dines alone. I think he’s even pretending to have a conversation with them at one point. And then there’s the end, where he’s joined by friends! Yay, he’s not the lonely soul we thought he was! I actually felt a bit of relief for the guy when they walked in and greeted him. (But is this moment of friendly togetherness in his imagination too?) Ultimately, I’m choosing to interpret this MV as a mediation on the frequent solitude that comes with being a wota.

A lonely man’s dinner…

The song continues to riff on the group’s krautrock influences, moving along on it’s rhythm more so than standard pop structures, but the vocal delivery is more melodic than “Sweet Escape”, so it’s an pretty accessible and enjoyable song in the scheme of things. Nice little lite-rap bits as well. This is one of those moments where I’m surprised that this group still hadn’t had any sort of hit record yet. But it’s also another fine tune in a long line of YOU’LL MELT MORE! songs where the idols delivered pop goodness that skates along the surface of the underground musical subculture that lives on the left of the musical dial.

Hurry back tomorrow for another great YOU’LL MELT MORE! song! 

 

Oh hey, speaking of Sukiyaki, may I veer mildly off topic for a very loosely related factoid? “Sukiyaki” was also the title placed onto the Western release of Kyu Sakamoto‘s 1963 hit song “Ue o Muite Arukō”. (Only his actual song has nothing to do with the hot pot dish, it’s just a name they picked because it’s easier for Americans to pronounce.) It was the first and only Japanese song to reach number one in the USA, and the album that accompanied it was the only one to break the top 40 until some group called Babymetal happened along. So hey, here’s another Sukiyaki for you…

 

 

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