After a conversation with wu on twitter I realised I’d been a bit lacking in regards to actually making a coherent and non-list/FAKSM Momoclo post. Usually I put all my nuggets of wisdom into album review posts, but as Momoclo are approaching 2 years since their last it’s been a little difficult. However, with the release of their second album, 5th Dimension, only a month away I figured I’d do an in-depth and comprehensive post on why they kick my ass on so many levels. This will, of course, mean that this post will be unbearably long and no doubt boring to those of you who have no interest in Momoclo. However, it may awaken some of you to your inner nutcase and allow you to safely descend to the depths of being a mononofu without fear of reprisal. On the other hand, this post is basically just to convince wu that Momoclo are probably the ones most likely to get him back into J-idols, so if you’re not wu then you could probably give this post a miss. But why would you do that when I have lots of crazy Momoclo links?
So, where to start? For a change, not the beginning, because the beginning is boring and if we’re taking this post as a mental guide to Momoclo then I may as well channel Sheogorath and make as little sense as humanly (or Daedrically) possible.
Thus far in Momoclo’s storied careers, the biggest change they had to endure was the departure of Hayami Akari, the Blue rapper. Granted, other girls left while the group was in its formative stages (Kashiwa Yukina would later join Nogizaka46, and Takai Tsukina joined SKE48 before rejoining Stardust for some reason), but none of them had as big an impact as Akari. She was their subleader (and by all rights a slightly more effective field marshal than the minorly batshit insane Kanako, or the majorly batshit insane Reni before her) and in charge of all the rap parts in their songs. She was also the most mature and serious member, and probably had the smallest fanbase. Yet it’s telling that now, two years after her graduation, blue glowsticks are still a notable staple of their live shows, and the group is prone to opportune shout-outs in her direction at any given moment, most especially at last year’s Kouhaku. The second album is even being released on the second anniversary of her departure. In any case, one can certainly mark a delineated line through Momoclo’s history at this point, and the beginning of their “third era”, so to speak. Assuming that the first era was the pre-debut and Indies days, and the second era the major singles before Akari’s departure. Nowadays, the lineup is just five: Kanako (red, leader), Shiori (yellow), Momoka (green), A~rin (pink) and Reni (purple, ex-leader).
This departure led to some of Momoclo’s known insanity (hardcore nationwide touring at a young age in a crappy van will do that to you) seeping ever deeper into their music. Granted, Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo, Pinky Jones and Chai Maxx got on my prog list, but it seems that with every released single they plumb as yet unconquered depths in the human psyche just by descending deeper into madness, whether that be through song structure, timbre, highly relevent lyrics or just the damn imagery.
Which brings me to the next point. Momoclo’s PVs, aside from mostly being silly, irreverent and referential, seem to have a theme or plot, especially nowadays. A quick runthrough since their major debut:
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