Recently, I was thinking of doing a feature about idol music. However, I remembered that I had in the past done a list of my favorite idol Christmas tracks, so I was unsure if this would be repeating too much. I looked back to see when I did that list and it was in 2010, so I think we’re good.
Also, I was talking with Chiima of Okay! Musume Time who reminded me she has been doing the exact same thing for years. Which, as a regular reader of that blog, somehow slipped my mind. Whoops! Sorry for stealing your idea, Chiima!
The idea of this post is to be a short but sweet look at Christmas-themed idol songs and music videos. Please note that all of these are going to be Christmas themed, not generic idol winter themed. While I like a lot of idol songs that have a winter theme (RYUTist’s Fuyu no Mahou, Dempagumi.inc’s Fuyu e to Hashiridasou, and Babyraids’ Koyomi no Ue de wa December being particular favorites) I’d like to be more direct with these posts.
The first song and PV I’d like to take a quick look at is Petitmoni’s Pittari Shitai X’Mas. The reason this happened to be the first is because for a lot of international idol fans it is the first Christmas-themed idol song we really were aware of, because a lot of idol fans (myself included!) started out as Hello!Project fans.
Song: I quite enjoy Pittari Shitai X’Mas. It has a retro girl group kind of sound (and this was retro in 2001!). But it’s held up very well in a way that a lot of old-school Hello!Project songs have held up. This has a great melody and a really solid arrangement that’s fun to listen to. The lyrics are a bit stereotypical (the good old “Santa, please bring me a man!” kind of thing) but they are definitely serviceable. All the members do a great job with the material too – while Yoshizawa Hitomi is the weak link to vocal heavyweights like Yasuda Kei and Goto Maki, she does a good job matching them here.
The one thing that I don’t quite get is just how often Tsunku has to do his additional vocalizations. I think this is one of those polarizing things about Hello!Project music. Personally, I don’t mind Tsunku being among the background vocals in H!P songs, but some of the weird grunts in Pittari Shitai X’Mas just sound weird and don’t quite fit with the rest of the song being so cute.
Overall, aside from not quite getting some of the Tsunku vocal parts, I quite like Pittari Shitai X’Mas. It’s not my favorite Hello!Project song and it’s frankly my least favorite Petitmoni single, but that’s in part because the rest of their singles were so great – this song doesn’t live up to the heights of Chokotto Love and Baby Koi ni Knockout. Still, this is a song I listen to every single year around this season and one I enjoy a lot.
PV: It’s almost amazing how terrible Hello!Project PVs have been and how low the production values have been. This PV is nothing but pure cheese, done either on green screen or on a very low-budget set. The green screen work is all with some pretty poor animation that was most likely slapped together quickly.
That said, while this is pretty much an objectively bad PV, I kind of love it? I think the thing that sells it are the three members – they ham it up in front of the camera, act silly, and somehow manage to make the terrible animation work. The editing isn’t terrible, either – the PV has a good movement to it, and doesn’t tend to linger on any one element (which is a good thing).
Is this objectively good? No. Is this very fun to watch? Yes.
Overall: If Pittari Shitai X’Mas isn’t one of your classic idol songs you listen to every holiday season, I don’t know if I can help you there! It’s cheesy but very fun.