Coming in late, it’s my favorite PVs of 2015! This list isn’t ranked, but is a collection of 10 PVs that I really enjoyed in 2015.
Please note – there is an abundance of Stardust affiliated acts here. However, that’s mostly because they’re consistently doing compelling and well-produced PVs. I was frankly very impressed by every single PV that Stardust did this year.
Other than that, the idol world has in general improved their PVs. In previous years there were music videos I actively disliked, whereas in 2015 at worst things were bland. Idol groups are really upping their game and I’m interested to see what happens next.
Dempagumi.inc – Ashita Chikyuu ga Konagona ni Natte Mo
This is one of the most visually striking PVs of the year, mainly for the shots that appear as if each member of Dempa is riding a bicycle on her own small planet in the middle of the Earth. Whoever figured out how to make this visual edit is very clever, as this is striking and pleasant. I also greatly enjoy the intermittent special effects as well as the drawn manga occasionally in the PV – the earliest transition from seeing behind a member in the manga to a filmed shot that matches it works really well. Aside from that, though, this is a really well put together PV – the color is saturated, it’s edited well. This is a visually striking, well crafted PV I enjoyed a lot.
Team Syachihoko – Basyauma Rock
Speaking of well-crafted PVs, from a film standpoint this might be my favorite. It’s not necessarily the most flashy or interesting PV, but it’s one of the most well-crafted PVs I’ve seen since Team Syachihoko’s own Shampoo Hat. The framing of the shots is just perfect and has a lot of visual flair, they managed to get the lighting and color balance just right even though this was primarily shot outside, and the progression of the PV from midday to afternoon/evening with the magic hour shots works great. It may not be the most ambitious, but I can tell that someone who really knew their film production was behind this.
Idol Renaissance – You
I love just how classic idol Idol Renaissance is. This PV just feels old-fashioned in a really fun way, and is well put together. However, that’s not why it’s here. It’s the completely emotionally manipulative reveal that the members were written letters from their mothers that gets me every time and makes me cry. The members themselves cry and tear up and it’s so moving and personal in a way that not every idol PV is. The PV also features childhood pictures of the members, which has shown up before in other idol things, but works really well here. Idol Renaissance succeeded in making something really personal and special.
5572320 -Ponpara Pecoruna Papiyotta
I don’t even know where to begin trying to unpack this. This is one of the most avant-garde PVs I’ve seen and it’s to promote cookies. I’ve watched this PV several times trying to figure out any way to analyze it and I just can’t. It’s very unique visually and an interesting watch, but I can’t figure out what it’s trying to say beyond “coconuts sable are good cookies” but even that is debatable here. Honestly, the biggest thing I wish from this is that more idol groups would attempt something more out there and avant garde, maybe even without the guise of the alter ego group.
Morning Musume ’15 – Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru (alternate version)
Hello!Project has a history of having the alternate version being the best PV (H!P’s best PV of all time is Matsuura Aya’s Zutto Suki de Ii Desu Ka (another version)), and this is no different. While the quality of PVs from Hello!Project has increased quite a bit since I became a fan, this alternate version is one of the best PVs H!P has had in a while. The visual effects are in particular stunning, but I also appreciate how this gives Morning Musume access to different locations, even if it’s all mostly done with green screen anyway. The sections where the members are running on top of the train have a lot of energy and work really well, and I enjoy how the visuals evolve and change over the course of the PV. It’s also a pretty perfect introduction to the 12th generation members, and the four of them suddenly being dropped onto the top of a moving train is a pretty apt comparison for how it must feel joining a group like Morning Musume. There’s a lot to love about this PV, so I’m glad it managed to get made, even though it’s an alternate version.
Takoyaki Rainbow – Genki Uri no Shoujo ~Naniwa Meika Gojussen~
Not a lot of PVs have quite the sense of fun that Genki Uri no Shoujo has. Or the energy – since the song is about energy, this has it in spades. So much goes on in this PV – there’s table tennis, bowling, Kurumi bringing in a box of mikan, Sakuchan and Renren doing a comedy routine, the disco appearance to it. This is a busy PV, but has more of a sense of joy. This is a busy PV, but Takoniji sells it and makes it work really well.
Niji no Conquistador – Yarukkyanai 2015
Yarukkyanai 2015 completely took me by surprise, as this was the first I’d seen of Niji no Conquistador. However, this PV (and song) immediately made me take notice with just how odd they were willing to get. The visual effects are the big star here, notably invoking a bit of an Egyptian theme with pyramids and sphinxes everywhere. Oddly enough, I really like when they dial back the effects and have a section near the end in what looks like a stage at an idol venue. But this is a great PV – the visuals are distinctive, the members play it up, and it’s a very fun early PV for this group.
Momoiro Clover Z vs KISS – Yume no Ukiyo e Saitemina
This might be my favorite PV of the year, and given my lack of interest with Kiss that is saying something. The animation of Sushio works really well here, and all the members are depicted very well, as is Kiss being their opponents here. I also love the focus on Ukiyo-e, which adds a unique visual flair to the PV. The only thing that feels a bit off is that sometimes Kiss is a bit goofy, but I think that’s because Kiss is a bit goofy in general. They work well enough animated, but sometimes the filmed versions are a bit laughable. Still, this is an award-winning PV and I think it shows – there is a great visual style at play, making it my favorite PV of the year.
LinQ – LinQuest ~Yagate Densetsu e~
I like video games. A lot. So for a PV to take so much inspiration from RPGs is a lot of fun. This PV does a lot right – the sprite art, the close ups with the battle options. The color saturation is high on this which works – it makes the world and the members seem more like they’re in a video game. Even the closeups work really well – all the members are standing on a set of stairs, and each gets a spotlight when it’s their solo part. It’s a nice visual touch. If anything I wish there were a bit more in the way of video game references here, but this is ultimately a really fun PV that has a lot of character.
Team Syachihoko – J.A.N.A.I.C.A
This PV has probably my favorite concept, which is using flipbooks. Flipbooks are a really interesting visual tool here, as the PV uses it to change things in the scene – for example, it shows up as text from a cell phone and then Nao’s eyes with fake tears coming from them. It’s a really excellent concept that works well here. Flipbooks are even approximated in sequences where they don’t show up. While the entire PV is very interesting and very weird (the gold background dancers with A heads works well in the “Syachi is weird” kind of way), this initial mechanic which is repeated throughout is what sets J.A.N.A.I.C.A apart.