SKE48’s last release, “Kiss Datte Hidarikiki” is quite possibly the weakest SKE48 single to date so I was interested to see what they had in store for us next. Lets dive into their latest release, “Choco no Dorei”!
The PV consists of cuts of the theater performance of the song and the members doing daily activities like going to a photo shoot, jumping on trampolines, participating in a dance lesson, traveling, hanging out with other members, going to school, etc. The shots in this PV are shot cleanly, very charming and showcase the members well. One of the first oddities to stand out in this PV is the insertion of the word, “DREAMERS” sprinkled in at random times.
I am still having a hard time understanding the theme of the song, which suggests a Valentine theme to this PV and the concept of the members doing daily activities and apparently, dreaming according to the random text. The performance shots of members in the theater are dynamic thanks due to the lighting effects and pan shots of the choreography and making the theater look and feel bigger than it actually is.
The choreography shown during the performance shots show the usual jumpy, SKE48 dance moves. The shots of Takayanagi Akane walking around the theater are intriguing as she highlights some of the outside parts of the theater and this PV is a great way to showoff their new theater and its capabilities.
Now that we got the easy to understand parts of the PV out of the way, lets get into the WTF that is the second half of this PV. In the first half of the PV, there were hints that Matsui Rena would have some sort of narrative and we get… something… in the second half… Matsui Rena receives some odd, out of place solo shots and then in the next scene, she is seen jumping over several cars that lunge at her in the streets of Sakae.
The cars have some sort of neon lining on their frames so the only explanation I have for this scene is that Matsui Rena somehow was in the world of “Tron” for a small portion of the PV.
Does this explain why she was jumping on the trampoline?
Certainly doesn’t make any sense. Was she training to jump over three tricked out “Tron” cars? BUT WHY!? WHY IS SHE TRAINING TO JUMP OVER CARS!? IS THIS A NEW OLYMPIC SPORT THAT I HAVE NOT HEARD ABOUT!? The possible explanation is that this was a dream sequence when Matsui Rena was asleep in the beginning of the PV and could explain why there were inserts of the word, “DREAMERS”.
Matsui Rena’s WTF scenes are quite jarring and put a damper on the nice shots of the members and the theater we saw in the first half of the PV. Do I need some sort of narrative? No. It shouldn’t be in there to begin with. I have no idea as to why the director thought it would be a good idea to insert those scenes in there.
Now, lets talk about the song. Coming off the disappointment that was “Kiss Datte Hidarikiki” (musically) for me, I was hoping for a song that was more “SKE”. “Kiss Datte Hidarikiki” was middling and generic sounding when compared to SKE48 singles of the past so “Choco no Dorei” is a nice follow-up. The song starts with the horn intro that reminds us SKE48 fans of the days of, “1!2!3!4! Yoroshiku!” which is still regarded as one of the stronger SKE singles to date. The chorus has a strong hook and it will no doubt leave the melody stuck in your head.
I was a tad bit surprised by the bridge. The bridge is a break down featuring the horns and the second instrumental part where the members snap their fingers, but it felt out of place and short. If it had been longer, I think it would give people a chance to get used to the break down. I’ve definitely heard the vocal portion of the bridge somewhere in an AKB48 song but I can’t seem to put my finger on it… but overall the song is pretty good and definitely a step above “Kiss Datte Hidarikiki”
“Choco no Dorei” is definitely worth checking out just based on the song alone. The second half of the PV featuring Matsui Rena is a total mindfuck but I think most people can get over it and enjoy the rest of the PV for what it is. What this PV is not is a PV for a Valentine themed song. I would have given the PV a higher score if it had stuck to what it was doing in the first half and not strayed off into the world of “Tron”. This PV was so deep that I could not comprehend what was going on. #SoDeep