Curse W. David Marx for turning me on to "Shōnen Young" by techno sonic manipulators Denki Groove (master of ceremonies Ishino Takkyū's homepage has a good English side).
The video is beyond fascinating; it is hypnotic.
To think that all you need to reproduce an entire era's worth of banal, virginal femininity is pale lipstick, lip gloss, a hair dryer and pastel monochrome backgrounds.
Even the image of the woman in silver with the antennae works as a "this was the producer's idea. We know it doesn't work" interlude.
"Shōnen Young" was released as a single on December 5 of last year. The video is obviously a direct attack on the commercial depictions of young women. However, it takes an end run around the easy, polemical route. In a darkly ironic set of images, it sandwiches the viewer between imagery objectifying the feminine face and body and the subversion of the authority of those images.
I can think of entire books this could replace--and a raft of assertions about "Nihonjin" it undermines.
May's Song is "Shōnen Young" by Denki Groove, in the column on the right or here.
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