Impressions: Choco no Dorei

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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.

1dream

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.

pan

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.

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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.

renasolo

car1

car2

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.

SKEISTRON

Does this explain why she was jumping on the trampoline?

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”.

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

PV:
3_star

Song:
4_star

3 thoughts on “Impressions: Choco no Dorei”

  1. 100% agree with you, about the PV & the WTH moment of Rena’s jump, & the song is really good.

    And hands down to the best song in 2013 (already?) “Sore wo Seishun to Yobu hi”, this song is a masterpiece that Aki-P will have a hard time to satisfy me with another greater one.

  2. The PV has a very simple theme imo. It’s about the theater renovation and them getting ready for the opening. They made sure to heavily feature the theater in this single to a point one could say it’s the theme for all PVs, except the graduation one. Specifically in Choco no Dorei we see a lot of intercut scenes of the theather, the girls on their daily lives and them training. I like the candid nature of some of the shots and the wotas sell the point of the theater well. But then there’s the WTF DID RENA JUST JUMP THREE CARS moment. That completely removes you from the overall mood the rest of the PV set and chains you to this uneasy state of what in the world just happened and WHY. I can excuse the “dreamers” text as a confusing attempt to say “the new theater and opening are a dream for the girls and fans” or “they are excited about it”. I can also excuse Rena jumping on a trampoline as a very unlikely way of getting ready for the show. But there’s nothing, even with all my will, that can excuse the “let’s be Matrix” scene. I would give this PV a 4 if it weren’t for that, but that scene does exist so I’ll give it a 2 and a half.

    I don’t have the same problem you have with the song. If I take it by itself it’s a great song and I’d give it a 4 and a half. The problem I have with it though is that it doesn’t sound like a valentine’s day song. It doesn’t sound romantic or hopeful. It’s very upbeat, which is nice, but doesn’t match the proposed theme imo. Of course upbeat songs can be romantic, but Choco no Dorei has a more party like melody to me. I know it’s very particular of me and doesn’t affect the quality of the song, so in the end it still is a 4 and a half for me.

    Like most, if not all, 48 releases it’s a very schizophrenic experience. You hear one thing, see another and feel one completely different. The PV doesn’t match the theme of the song, the covers don’t match the PV, so forth and so on. I guess I should be used to it by now. Maybe I even am considering I graded this one quite high.

  3. The Japanese Self Defense Force began anti-cybercar jump training in 1965 to prepare the nation for…

    …I lost my notes.

    Damn! There was a pretty good reason for it, too…

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