I’ve been hearing about bump.y now and again for a while now, so it’s interesting to see Okay! Musume Time write a post that declares them better than Berryz or PASSPO☆. I can’t help but cock one eyebrow, ask “Really?”, and wait for the proof to be delivered.
And amazingly enough, Chiima does. She goes over many details of the group and this release, but also seems to struggle at times to explain why she likes it all so much. As far as bump.y themselves, there’s the size of the group (five is always a good number, in my opinion) and their gimmick of being actress-slash-idols. As for the song itself, she brings out a comparison to another idol group’s summer song, 9nine’s “Natsu Wanna Say Love U”, which also uses Kpop influences – but bump.y tones it down a notch from Umika and company, going for a more “relaxing” effect.
Throughout the post, Chiima seems to fall back on this inability to completely articulate what is winning her over, a hesitancy that punctuates the force of conviction. Two words that keeps coming up are “Kpop” and “simple” – and at one point, “isn’t overly complex”, which gets points for effort. Despite this struggle, the enthusiasm throughout the post is infectious – it’s crystal clear how much Chiima is enjoying the video and song, both as a change of pace from what she usually listens to as well as something that is light and breezy and summery on its own terms.
I think part of the struggle is that there may not be enough words to encapsulate these feelings. There is something ineffable in the way an idol group can reach a fan, a chemistry between idol and wota which is intensely personal, stirring deep passions and yet leaving one mildly confused because it clearly a mediated experience. These kinds of feeling are often reserved for people and experiences immediately within our realm – feeling it this intensely through a video is one of those symptoms of postmodernism that have become everyday occurrences in the electronic age.
Watching the video for myself, I got a very healthy dose of what Chiima felt. It’s clear that bump.y had a limited budget but really worked their charm. Like C-ute’s latest, there’s enough going on to keep the eyes and ears busy, but the real focus is on the girls convincing you how much they enjoy what they’re doing. There were even a couple of breathtaking moments in the close-up shots, where an idol does just a little something – a head tilt, a wink, a smile – and I’m left slackjawed and awestruck, slanted and enchanted. Only GP Basic has been able to do that consistently for me lately – oh, and the recent Okamoto Rei photobook – so I count these moments as precious and a helpful barometer for whether I’ll like an idol group or not.
As for the song itself, it’s from the same Korean songwriters who created my favorite KARA song, “Honey” and one can easily imagine THAT quintet doing this song on their own. It’s exactly what Chiima promises it to be, and is indeed a welcome change of pace for J-idols.
I definitely wanna see more of bump.y now, that difficult threshold of “making time for a new idol group” has just been surmounted and I’ve got Chiima to thank for that. My one complaint is that their youngest member isn’t the hawtest – there’s something wrong with that, it doesn’t compute. But you should read Chiima’s post for yourself, then give bump.y a try – and if you can stand up to their charms and still not be moved, you’re a stronger willed wota than I’ll ever be.