Monday, 20 November 2017

Morning Musume 20th Anniversary: Top ⑳ Music Videos (Of All Time, According to Chiima)

In celebration of Morning Musume's 20 years as a group, let's take a look at some of the more memorable music videos and entertain ourselves. Through the nostalgia, the fun, the laughter and the tears, it's time to amuse ourselves once more with the best of Morning Musume, in all their visual glory.

It's all preference beyond this point, but which videos will make the cut, and which ones will be given honorable mentions? It's time to check out some videos, and make our decisions. Are you ready to make your choice?

Cross-posted with: Selective Hearing

With around 20 years' worth of footage and a little bit of time on my hands, I wanted to celebrate Morning Musume's 20th anniversary the only way I can: by making a list! So, here it is, after about three hours' worth of video watching, note taking and ratings, and a further 10 hours' worth of sorting, writing and re-arranging, I have my final compilation of my Top 20 Morning Music Videos, from their debut until now! Wow, that took a while!

The fact I did it all in one day is kind of impressive, though. I typically sit on my butt and uhm and ahh a lot before doing something further, however, I really wanted to write this one up and get everything sorted as soon as possible, before I became too busy all over again. I hate adult life.

In regards to the list itself, as stated above, it's all preference beyond this point; I am fully aware that my tastes are different to yours, however, I did try to include videos that, whilst to my taste, would appeal to others as well. I also tried to think about which videos would also be included in other Top 10 or 20 lists, but some videos listed here might come as a surprise, and would probably never come up on another list any time soon. Again, it's all about preference, and my weird tastes.

That said, I do hope some of your favourite videos from the group turn up on here. If not, feel free to berate me, and inquire why I never listed it, and why I'm an idiot for not listing it.

For the sake of it, I would like to note that I have used a Rating system for these videos, with 10 being perfection, and 1 being a big ol' nope. I have included my rating for the videos in the list, and made the decision early on when taking notes that all videos rated 7 or above, would become a part of my Top 20 list. Of course, with the amount of 7's and 8's I gave, a few were cut, making up my honorable mentions list. It was the fairest way, I found, especially when I rated a lot of MoMusu's MV's in the 6's.

Ratings will be included in the honorable mentions, just so you know where they stand.

Also, in terms of the reasons for why I have chosen certain videos, I am basing a lot of my decisions (and ratings) on these aspects: Themes, Style, Entertainment quality, Editing technique, Camera Angles / Cinematography, Lighting, Graphics, Location / Setting / Set Design, how Memorable it is, and Nostalgia. Not all of these aspects have to present in the video, of course, but I would like at least a few of these to be present. Clearly, the older ones will be more nostalgic than current MV's, whilst the newer videos will have better graphics, and some might encompass more than others. It depends on the video, as well as how a person sees the video.

I would also like to point out that, despite a videos rating on here, I will put it anywhere, depending on how I view it personally. So, even a video earned a 8/10, it might find itself somewhere with the 7's, because my preference for it is a little lower than others. Likewise, even if a video is an 8, it can still become a honorable mention, only because I felt it wasn't as good as certain videos that I had rated a 7/10.

And before I move on, I would like to say that, whilst I have created this list, it is not a definite or official list about the best MoMusu PV's out there. This is simply a list I have compiled for my own enjoyment, as well as to see which videos are to my taste after enjoying and begrudging the group for so long. This is not to slander your favoured MV's, nor is it to say what is better than others. I am simply doing this, because I can.

Feel free to disagree with me on any videos placed here, but feel free to agree with me, too. I don't mind, either way, I just want to throw out reasons why I enjoy certain videos, and why I think they're good.

I hope you all enjoy, and finally, we're going to get to the list itself. In honor of Morning Musume's 20th Anniversary, let's celebrate the music videos that have captivated us for so long! This is my Morning Musume Top 20 Music Videos List, where we will take a trip down memory lane and look at all the good this group has brought us. Who will make the cut, and which video will reign supreme?

It's time to tune in, dear readers. Press the play button, and let the results unfold.

Koi no Dance Site (2000)

Rating: 7/10

Koi no Dance Site has always been a personal favourite of mine, for both its weirdness and energy. That, and it's incredibly memorable; the hilarious choreography, green screened back drop, horrendously white lighting and excessive use of ad-libs and funny faces creates quite the unforgettable piece, and even if it does throw in a few filming no-no's for me, I still love it for both the nostalgia and weirdness it holds.

This video probably wouldn't make a lot of Top 20 lists, but I find Koi no Dance Site to be an acquired taste, one that suits what I enjoy in a video. Ity lacks the seriousness and maturity that past Morning Musume releases held back in the day before Koi no Dance Site's release, and delivers a playful vibe that showed off the giddy nature of the members, in both sound and image.

Sexy Boy ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~ (2006)

Rating: 7/10

I am at my weakest when a simple but pretty music video makes its appearance, and honestly, this list would not be complete without Sexy Boy ~Soyokaze ni Yorisotte~, which was one of my favoured releases from the Morning Musume I walked into. There is an abundance of white, which I would dislike great if I saw it now, but back then, this wasn't really a thing with the group. Instead, it just looked aesthetically pleasing instead of grating and overdone.

I've always adored the shots in this. There is such pleasing camerawork here, whether the camera is following the members as they dance, or focused on a specific part of their face. The editing is great, too, though it might be a little too fast-paced for some viewers, and I understand why that would be an issue, for some; the editor really did get a tad too trigger happy with the fast cuts, and the cameraman just didn't know where to look, so he goes everywhere, because which gorgeous member should they focus on? All of them, clearly.

It's a pretty, simple music video, and I love the camerawork and simple, clean atmosphere it delivers. The solo shots are especially enchanting, especially when the wind blows through the members' hair as they look towards us. Gorgeous.

Morning Misoshiru (2017)

Rating: 7/10

There is an incredible amount of warmth that comes with this video, and it's not from the fire. An update of the groups major debut single, Morning Misoshiru was used as the promotional song for a brand of miso soup, but the video has delighted many fans for its use of the outdoors, calm tone and beautiful setting.

This is a gorgeous video, in every sense of the word. All of the members look so happy, and the atmosphere throughout is friendly and close. I just love watching Morning Misoshiru, because it shows a side of the group that I feel we haven't seen in a while as viewers, especially when the members act so serious and mature as opposed to playful and cute.

It's a simple video, but the atmosphere is one I enjoy a great deal. Each member is delightful, and the way they interact and do various job is entertaining and heartfelt. It's a beautiful video, and I am so glad it was produced.

Nanchatte Ren'ai (2009)

Rating: 7/10

Nanchatte Ren'ai was one of the first Morning Musume songs I paid attention to completely, as well as the first that kept my interest in the group, and that is one of the main reasons why it's on my list. I simply adore it, but honestly, I do love how it looks overall. It might not be one of the Top 20 videos for some, but for me, it's up there with the greats. I just love its overall aesthetic.

Mixing the elegance of ballet with the grunge aesthetic of a derelict warehouse, Nanchatte Ren'ai feels both Gothic and stylish thanks to its use of monochromatic shades, tones of gray and the way it makes use of shadows and light. It has some striking imagery, but not matter what, it feels elegant and gentle thanks to the movement and grace of each member.

The pace, tone and camera work is also quite beautiful in this, but overall, my main love for this video is in how stylish it looks, and the effective use of its location to deliver this Gothic, monochrome look that befits the song beautifully.

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatterun dayo! (2011)

Rating: 7/10

I have had to use an unofficial upload of this (ie: not from the groups channel), only because I don't want to use the 10-minute upload when there is one song I want to talk about, instead of two. Mind you, I do like both videos.

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Hinki de Negatterun dayo! is one of my favourite graduation videos from Morning Musume, both because it's really gorgeous, and for its subtle use of saying goodbye to Takahashi Ai as she passes the baton. Mostly, though, I adore the colour scheme; purple and gold is bomb together, and the galaxy setting looks spectacular. Whoever designed this did a really good job, and I applaud them for it.

That said, the overabundant use of sparkles is annoying. I'm actually getting a headache from it, but, it's still quite pretty to look at. This is why I've put it at the #16 spot, because despite how much I enjoy it, and how much the video itself pleases me, there is only so much glitter, sparkles and stars I can take.

LOVE Machine (1999)

Rating: 7/10

I could have thrown this into the special mentions pile, but after some thought, I do think this should be included in my list. I mean, it's freakin' LOVE Machine, and it's hilarious to watch. Why shouldn't I include it?

This was the start of kinda-hilarious Morning Musume, because whilst the song is quite cool and sexy in sound, the various antics of the members, as well as that horrendous choreography, is genuinely entertaining and fun to watch. I especially love the use of various costumes, and those weird effects. Everything about LOVE Machine is cheesy, in all the right ways.

I cringe at some of the editing choices, because they're so outdated, but I think that is what makes LOVE Machine such a gem nowadays. It's dated as heck, but this was also the song that sky-rocketed Morning Musume to stardom. Plus, at the time, these effects might have been considered good, despite the cheesiness of it all. I mean, they're pretty outlandish, but they're fun, too.

This one is a complete guilty pleasure, only because it makes me cringe. I honestly do enjoy it, though.

Morning Coffee (1998)

Rating: 7/10

There are some questionable editing choices thrown into this - mostly, that opening transition shot. What are we using, Windows Movie Maker? - but honest to the Lord himself, I think that Morning Coffee holds up pretty well, especially when you remember it was produced 20 years ago. Yikes.

Morning Coffee has an almost romantic quality to it, from its use of colours to how the members look at the camera. Whenever I watch it, I feel like the shot is personal, a moment captured during a vulnerable moment of the members that only you should see. It's quite striking and effective, and honestly, I can see why people would become captivated by Morning Musume after viewing this. They really are beautiful, and their slight vulnerability is just enchanting. The shot that lingers on Abe Natsumi from 3:42 is especially beautiful, in my eyes. It's just so relaxing, and you feel at ease watching her.

I'm simply amazed by how beautiful this is, and I'm happy that, even after 20 years, its use of (some) effects and cinematography still holds up well today.

Wakain da shi! (2017)

Rating: 7.5/10

One of the most recent additions to the Morning Musume visual collection, I really can't help but enjoy Wakain da shi! for its sentimental feel and overall look. It's simple, pretty to look at, and it works effectively in delivering its message.

Oh, and it pulls at your heart strings, though I have only had that happen the once, really. Still, every time I watch it, I feel quite sad regarding the impending graduation of Kudo Haruka. Damnit, H!P, why chip away the ice encasing my heart? This was not meant to happen!

The execution for Wakain da shi! is clean and simple, showing off the bond between the members, and letting us know exactly who the song and video is about. Of all the graduation songs and videos thus far, I think that Wakain da shi! is the most graduation-worthy, because from beginning until the end, it feels like it's a goodbye. You can't mistake it for anything but, really.

It's a solid MV, and it's beautifully done. What a wonderful send-off for Kudo Haruka in her final release as a member of Morning Musume.

Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke (2013)

Rating: 8/10

I had an iffy time figuring out where Mikaeri Bijin would go in here, or another video. Then I remembered that, yeah, I really do I adore how Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke was edited and filmed, because damn, I love me some fast pace. So, here we are. My love for fast > slow wins out, this time.

I think that everyone was amazed by this video when it first came out, for its sharp use of choreography, stylish attire, use of lighting and the crisp editing technique that is now a staple in Morning Musume's visual library. It's absolutely mesmirising to watch, from the way the camera moves, to the choices in position and the angles we watch the group from. It's glorious, and one of my favourites in terms of editing without adding any additional effects in the post-production phase.

BONUS: The members look like they are actively enjoying themselves. Thank you, H!P.

Mukidashi de Mukiatte (2016)

Rating: 8/10

I adore the editing for Mukidashi de Mukiatte, and it's some of the best I have seen from Morning Musume over the years. Sure, it can seem like overkill to some, but I love how the shapes enter the frame seamlessly and cut away members, and how the cameras show only snippets of their bodies or faces. The alternative shots are gorgeous, too, adding a subtle, sexy vibe to the music video without being too over the top, or too awkward.

This is one of my favourite videos from the current lineup of Morning Musume, because it's so well done, and the edits are visually pleasing. In terms of the location itself, there isn't much going on, but the computer graphics, its use of colour and shapes, all work in a way that entertains and intrigues you, so you find that you don't care about the location as much. Everything that catches your eye has been done by a computer, or because the members are visually captivating.

It's a good music video, and one of the best this group has had to offer in recent years. Not the best, but it has my attention, and I think about it a lot, which definitely counts towards it being one of my Top 20.

Pyoko Pyoko Ultra (2012)

Rating: 8/10

From a graduation single to a debut, and probably the most eyebrow-raising video on this list. A lot of people disliked Pyoko Pyoko Ultra when it originally came out, mostly because of the chick costumes used and the childish themes it projected. I think that fans weren't too keen on some of the editing methods, either, but I also don't think that they realised just how hard practical sets and projection imagery can be.

I think that this video still looks good, despite what people might argue, and I honestly love the vibrant colours and cheerful display it creates. It was a side of Morning Musume that hadn't really been seen before, and sadly, because of its poor reception, I doubt we'll ever get something like this again from the group. Still, I can appreciate the work and effort thrown into this video, because it proves to me that when management want to get creative, they can do something like this, and show us that their editing talent doesn't just lie in computer effects or green screens.

It's cute, it's fun, and it's obnoxiously childish, but it's practical and a genuine, fun video. No matter what, it will always make me happy when I watch it.


Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru (Another version) (2015)

Rating: 9/10

Even though this is one of my highest ratings for a video, it's not my favourite, and I don't like the song, either. Believe it or not, how the song sounds can make an impact on how I view the video, too. So, it sits at #9, but that's pretty good, considering.

 Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru (Alternative version) is pretty incredible. Visually, it's stunning, and it stands as one of the current generations best looking pieces in their library of MV's. The imagery is gorgeous, the colours blend beautifully, and though the tone can feel pretty dull at times, it works with the songs own dull tone. Sadly, it doesn't enhance it; if only.

The members are delightful here, too, and I love that this video represents a journey of sorts, whilst also acting as an introduction to the 12th generation. I also enjoy how it shows the difference between older generations, and the four new members who are uneasy about their place on the train (in the group), but are accepted by everyone else, regardless. The most pivotal moment of this PV is, of course, when all of the members run with the new generation at the top of the train, uncertain but confident in their future together.

This is art, and it's inspiring. But, I prefer other MV's to it. Sorry, hardcore fans.

Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe (2014)

Rating: 8/10

The delight of computer editing returns in Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe, which delivers both a beautiful green screen design, as well as some nice designs that move flawlessly with the members' movements. Unlike the aggressive nature of Mukidashi de Mukiatte, though, Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe is gentle and breath-taking. Everything flows beautifully, and some sequences read like a dream. The colour palette is also heavenly, here. I love how blue and serene everything is, before it becomes bright and dreamy.

The background for the choreography is one of my favourites from Morning Musume's music videos, showing off a colourful, sparkling galaxy that is absolutely gorgeous. It's some of the best green screen from this group, and it fits the song perfectly. The space vibe it gives me also feels a little reminiscent of MoMusu's old-school sci-fi MV's from way back in the day, but here, there is an elegant approach, and there is no tack thrown in for giggles.

It's gorgeous and mesmirising, and one of the most aesthetically pleasing videos this group has created thus far. What a delight to watch, and so deserving of its rank in this list.

Furusato (1999)

Rating: 8/10

Furusato is incredibly high, considering the simplicity of it, as well as its age. However, it's the sentimental value the video has that allows it to be this high in the list, because it gave me goosebumps. That, and it's a genuinely good music video, at least by my standards.

I genuinely like the video too, of course, but when it invokes shivers and goosebumps, you know it's a strong one. Plus, I love how it features scenes where the members are walking with who we can only assume are their mothers and journeying through locations that might just be their hometowns. It's very sweet, and it's very touching. How can I not enjoy it?

The scenes are really pretty, too. The shot at twilight is especially gorgeous, whilst the scene where the members each hold a sparkler feels nostalgic and personal, as if they are thinking of their own mothers who they no longer see as much as they'd like.

The personal touch that Furusato delivers is what I enjoy the most, and the ending where we see pictures of the girls in their youth are sweet, adding to the depth of the video. It's simply gorgeous, holds a few tender moments, and feels emotive as both a song and video.

3,2,1 BREAKIN'OUT! (2009)

Rating: 8/10

This video has been one of my favourites since the dawn of my fandom, and it will continue to stay at the top of my list for as long as I write. This is just pure entertainment, and one of the most creative MV's this group has come out with since their debut. It's probably the basis for what became Kare to Issho ni Omise ga shitai, because whenever I watch that music video, I have some serious de ja vu, and remember this piece of joy.

Ever since I first viewed it, 3,2,1 BREAKIN'OUT has been one of those videos that can instantly cheer me up when I switch it on. The bright colours and cut-out images of the members are pleasing to see, and the vibrant nature of the song makes me want to jump around and dance. It's one of those videos that I remember well and look back on with happiness and nostalgia, and it's a video that I can say with confidence is a favourite.

It reminds me heavily of arts and crafts, and the editing techniques it implements are fun and cute, but not obnoxious in any way. It's just a fun, energetic video, and it's there to bring cheer to its viewer. I freakin' love it.

Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Bang~ (2001)

Rating: 8/10

Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~ is one of the campest, most entertaining videos out there from Morning Musume. It has flare, cheese, and swing, and it's perfect because of that. Everything about this video is pure joy, and damn, Yoshizawa Hitomi is such a player in this. What could be better?

Abe Natsumi as a player, clearly.

I always have a bundle of fun whenever I watch this video, and it honestly makes me miss the days when Morning Musume actually put effort into their set design and silliness. This video is so vibrant and filled with personality and happiness, and it makes me smile whenever I watch it. I don't actually think I have ever met anyone who dislikes this video? It's too amazing to dislike, clearly.

The camera shots in this are incredible, too. The way the camera and editing moves from one person to the next, and how we catch glimpses of the band and their instruments makes the theme and sound feel so much more authentic. The colour and costumes also add to this, giving the video a genuine, bright feel that is great, in the corniest way possible.

Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~ is playful and cheeky, and it's one of the best from this era of Morning Musume. So charming, and so darned entertaining. I dare you to dislike it.

The☆Peace! (2001)

Rating: 8/10

From what people have told me, The☆Peace! was created as a retaliation for a toilet scandal that came out during the height of Morning Musume's popularity, and if that's the truth, then this is a wonderful way to get back at the haters and show them you're not finished. In fact, that's pretty hilarious!

And because of it, a great video was released, and it still stands as one of Morning Musume's most entertaining and hilarious creations. Have you seen that choreography, have you watched their reactions? Have you noticed that they're dancing in a room of urinals? That's creative as heck (especially when the urinals light up like it's a club, and not a public restroom), and pretty humorous. It's one of the most creative ideas to come out of this group.

It makes me wonder how the group became so serious, and why, when gems like this can be crafted? It also seems like The☆Peace was the inspiration for about a million of the groups gold costumes. Dang.

It's a great video, with a humorous theme and weird but wonderful choreography. Oh, and that end gets me every damn time. I love it.

Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima (2003)

Rating: 8/10

Despite the song itself doing pretty poorly (for the time of its release), this video is one of the Western fandoms favourites, because it's silly and cute, weird and wonderful. I have such fond memories of watching this one, too, so it's ability to be memorable is a strong factor in its rating and position, too. In general, though, I love that all of the set was practical instead of digital, making it feel like a pantomime, and I freakin' love pantomime's.

Everything about Hyokkori Hyoutanjima is hilarious, from the costumes to the interaction between members as they act out each individual role. Gaki as the unforgiving captain is wonderful, Yasuda Kei as the drunk, flirtatious pirate is downright chuckle worthy, and Yossie as the good pirate who falls for Princess Makoto is cute, and only furthers the belief that they were MoMusu's real one true pairing.

The theme, the set, the fact that I remember it so fondly, and the way the members interact and react is simply wonderful, which is why I adore this video. It holds up to today's standards, and looks even better than some of the videos Hello! Project has brought out in recent years. Now that is a feat that isn't too hard to accomplish.

Ima sugu Tobikomu Yuuki (2015)

Rating: 9/10

I look at this video, and I see perfection. Ima sugu Tobikomu Yuuki feels like a dream thanks to its hazy look, twinkling instrumental and gorgeous tones of orange, pink and red, and its gently coasting camera angles only add to the dream-like quality it holds. That gentle breeze that passes by is so subtle, too, creating a heavenly image when the wind is combined with the lighting and clouds that drape the background.

How have I neglected to review this, may I ask?

There is so much to love about this video, I don't know where to begin. From the colour scheme to the set, the way the lights are angled and the use of the smoke, this video feels like it was made to be perfect. Nothing is out of place, and every moment feels graceful and thought through. I feel like I am watching a moment of serenity, in all its beauty and serenity.

Each time I watch Ima sugu Tobikomu Yuuki, I'm in awe, and I'm reminded about why I love this video, and why I think so highly of it. It's one of those videos I will always adore, and its beauty will be hard to top. Though it might not be one of the best for some, to me, this is one of the greatest creations Morning Musume has ever crafted.

That doesn't make it the greatest, but it's close. But which video managed to beat it?

Honorable Mentions

Happy Summer Wedding (2000) - 7/10
Souda! We're ALIVE (2002) - 7/10
Mikan (2007) - 7/10
Naichau Kamo (2009) - 7/10
Help Me!! (2013) - 7/10
Brainstorming (2013) - 7/10
Mikaeri Bijin (2014) - 7/10
Shaba Daba Do (2014) - 7/10
Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi (2015) - 7/10
ENDLESS SKY (2015) - 7/10
Jama Shinai de Here We Go! (2017) - 8/10
Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai (2011) - 8/10
Egao no Kimi wa Taiyou sa (2014) - 8/10
Dokyuu no Go Sign (2017) - 8/10

I WISH (2000)

Rating: 10/10

I WISH is one of those PV's that you just adore upon first view. When I watched this video way back in the day of my early wota-hood days, I remember thinking just how fun and silly it was. I loved the costumes, story book setting, the song, the props and the opening music. Everything about it was so cute and entertaining, and it made me fall in love with Morning Musume even more than I liked them already, at that point.

Now, I feel much the same, because this video is just so wonderful and perfect. It's light-hearted and quirky, the story line is fun to watch, and the members feel like they are genuinely enjoying themselves as they perform both the song and the acting scenes. I love how the overall product reminds me of something we would see on Hello! Morning, too, because this is something that Morning Musume would have done on their skit segments. It's the perfect representation of what they would have done, back when they were the Queens of Idol music.

From the set design to the atmosphere, the choreography, energy, expressions and their costumes, there really is nothing to dislike about I WISH. It is the perfect representation of why Morning Musume are such an enjoyable, inspiring group, and it's the PV that I remember with the most fondness whenever I look back at what videos I like, because it is pure nostalgia, and it's true entertainment.

This is Morning Musume at their best, and they didn't need effects to accomplish it. Just good old imagination, and some energetic characters ready to perform for us all. I love everything about it, so much so it made me cry. That's how I knew it would be my #1.

That, and it's the only 10/10 video on my list. But where did I WISH rank on your list?


After many hours taking notes, watching videos, rating said videos and compiling this list, I am finally finished! Hopefully a few of your favourite Morning Musume videos made their way into my list, and if not, I have no issues with you calling me an idiot for it. But remember; this is preference, and whilst I am confident in my ability to find good in a video, I still have my own preferences in what I like to see, and for me, these were the videos that I either enjoyed most, or appreciated greatly.

Please do leave your opinion on this though, and let me know your thoughts on the list, and what you would change or what you might keep. It's always good to hear everyone else's thoughts.

This was a fun list to do, though, and I hope I can compile another list soon. Whether it is another Top 20 PV's for another group, or the worst that MoMusu has to offer, I hope it can be accomplished, and soon. It takes a lot of time and organisation, but it's truly worth it.

Which music video from Morning Musume is #1 on your list, and which ones do you think I should have included, either in the honorable mentions or on the list itself? Please share your thoughts, and throw me your favourite MV names! It'll be good to see what you see, and appreciate the joys of certain videos.

I hope you enjoyed, and thank you all for reading. Take care, and enjoy the music videos your favourite Idols create.

Until next time. Adieu.

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