Sunday, 25 October 2020

Idol'ween: The Haunting of Maneki Manor - Entertained by Maneki Kecak's 'Aru wakenai no Sono oku ni' (Pic Spam Review)

I heard a rumour... Apparently it's time to start Idol'ween Week?

Even though the Halloween season will be a little different this year, that does not mean we can skimp out on the festivities that All Hallows Eve provides! So, with that in mind, let's raise our spirits and get our ghoul on with our beloved Idols during these trialing times! And who better to kick off a week of Hallows Eve fun than Maneki Kecak in their spoopy music video, Aru wakenai no sono oku ni?

In truth, I wanted to review this PV last year for Idol'ween '19, but because it came out after I had written up my reviews, I decided to place it on the backburner for Halloween 2020. I absolutely adored this music video last year, and I still love it as much as I did a year ago! It's cute, a little cheesy, and perfect for the Halloween season, and I am beyond delighted that I will be sharing it with you, screen captions and all, this year!

So to start this week of Idols and Halloween, it's time to float into the first review with Maneki Kecak as we check out Aru wakenai no sono oku ni! Let's head into the house together and see what lies in wait for us. But, I heard something odd about this house... People say that it's haunted? Oh, whatever, let's just go in and see for ourselves! It can't be that bad, right?

Just don't get trapped, okay...

Bicycles? Five young, impressionable lads out an adventure? A dark, dreary path that leads to misery and loss? Why, this looks like it could be a...

- Stephen King has entered the chat -

Oh, bugger!

When an Idol PV has more diversity than a Hollywood blockbuster.

"There's Nothing Out There" is the lie your parents tell you in a cheap Horror plot.

Seriously though, be careful. There's something out there... >_>


Maneki Kecak do be looking a bit like Marionette's here, and I am loving it. All they need are a few strings.

I feel like I should be bringing them tea, or something. They look so refined and extravagant~

I feel like now would be a good moment to add flames at the side of the screen. Y'know, for effect.

When is it ever a good idea to enter a big, creepy house during a dark day, or at night?

Never. That's when. So, turn around and bike your way home, lads.

"Scooby Doo, where are you!?"

Wrong movie, kids.

Damn, Maneki Kecak are dead pretty here. Aha~

God damnit, guys! Turn around. Go home. Do not break and enter!

Do-Does this mansion have a built-in church? That's impressive, if it does. Damn.

Maneki Kecak were swanky in their former lives as Ladies of the Manor, huh?

Damn, look at how that shot moved from the eaves to the centre. So beautiful, so elegant.

And then it is ruined by a cut. Damnit.

"Magic Crystal, on a stand, who is the dopest kid in the land..."

This isn't Snow White, lads. Y'all need to yeet yourselves outta there before the Maneki Kecak ghosties get ya!

"Oh no. It fell."

I am loving the lack of care the kid on the left has. I swear, he is just as powerful as Maeda Atsuko. The kid on the right, however, has some of my favourite expressions in this entire video.

Ah, shit, my inner demons escaped. Sigh, guess we gotta go collect them back up again...

Meddling Kids: -breaks an orb containing inner demons-
Maneki Kecak: -Transforms into new outfits and awakens-

What in the Sailor Moon logic is this?

I honestly love how bored they all look here.

... Wait, is one of them a SPIDER?

Guys, she's a fucking spider.


I love it.

Dementor, Dementor!

You didn't think I would let that reference escape, did you? C'mon, this is me. I will put a reference in whenever and wherever possible, guys.

So, is this what happens when you cast a Jelly Legs Jinx! on someone, or did the editor just decide that the liquify tool on photoshop was the best choice when turning the members into ghosts?

They are hella cute ghosts though, and sparkly! Like vampires! :D

I had to make a reference, damnit!

Actually, this kid who is leading them also has some great expressions. He really is trying, and I applaud him for that!

Reona is so freakin' cute, and I love her hair! How is she this pretty?

Mate... react. Run after your friend. Hold out your hand weakly. DO SOMETHING!

This kid has about the same amount of emotional range as Maeda Atsuko in anything she has acted in, ever.

Holy shit, my inner demons whirled everyone out of there. Well, everyone except the future Arashi Junior member, that is.

And the kid still doesn't care. EMOTION! EXPRESS IT!

Arashi Junior: "Er... Hello? Friends?"

The saviour is left alone, and he gives 0 figs about it.

Arashi Junior: "Just a minor inconvenience, I assure you."

Y'know, that space looks empty. I have a suggestion for sprucing it up a bit; An altar. Like, a sacrificial one. It would look so good there, don't ya think?

Arashi Junior: "Really? I think that a sacrificial altar would look great there, too!"

Seriously, this kid has the range of a teaspoon.

Okay, which demon are you? Self-loathing, anxiety, self-doubt? C'mon, which one are you, I gotta know before I banish you to the crystal ball again.

Leave him be, he's an innocent! He needs no inner demons until he is at least 14!

Wait, an expression! Okay, go after him, we need more of that energy for the rest of the video.

Oh wait, he became a Super Seiyan all of a sudden, and conjured a ghost! WOOHOO!


Yeah, you did that. Now do you see what the power of your emotions can conjure?

Reona: "Emotions? Nah, that was all me."

SHUSH, I need the kid to express himself! Stop ruining this for me, Reona!

Reona: "Ditto, use multiply!"

I feel like their arm movements are either a part of their choreography, or they are the Power Rangers. Of course, I want to believe its a bit of both, so both it is!

Zap! And here are some friends they made for you earlier!

The kids are, understandably, wondering what the heck happened when they were pulled away via purple tornadoes.

Such a cute reunion, but guys, just stay with the ghosts. They can shoot lasers out of their hands!

See, this is why you don't run from powerful ghosts. All of the inner demons will come and get you, now!

This kid, I freakin' love his expressions. And then the kid on the right... yeah, he's pissed off. He is ready for a fight after the stunt those inner demons pulled earlier!

Ready to fight, like a boss!


Miyuu: "Illuminati... POWER UP!"

We have the triangle, but where's the eye part of this illuminati triangle, hm?

Ah, there's the eye!


I had to. I just had to.

Ah, okay. So Reona is wolverine, now?

You thought that was the end of it? Mate, I have many inner demons, and they're all waitin' for a tussle!

The power of positivity... it may be able to defeat the inner demons!

Arashi Junior: "Positivity Bubble... I CHOOSE YOU!!!"

Inner Demons: -screeches in negativity-

And so the power of positivty brought light back into the manor, and the ladies were brought back to life!

So. Damn. PRETTY!!!

Raise your hands in victory!

I know it's a manor house and all, but how many tables do you need in one room?

Also, finally! A dance shot, and an awkwardly done one at that, thanks to the hoop skirts.

They look so damn pretty, and I'm glad they left the dance shot to the end so as not to detract from the story line.

Beautiful. Stunning. Best choreography ever!

Why does this scene remind me of that one Goosebumps episode where three kids are stuck in an abandoned house with a ghost couple? Why?

Ah, well. At least we have a happy ending!

The End...

Yeah, right! Let's leave this on a cliffhanger and make Chiima wait. Sounds like a grand idea, said the Director >_>

God damnit.

"Hmph. Let the inner demons overwhelm you, fufufu~"

"There's nothing out there, but there's something inside..."

Welp, the inner demons were once again unleashed. Now who will save us from being consumed? Let's hope that Maneki Kecak can save us again next time...

Leaving this video on a cliffhanger is both a wonderful and frustrating tactic, because whilst I would love to see a follow-up to this music video, it makes me extremely impatient as a viewer to wait for a sequel to this song and music video. I have a feeling it won't happen, but honestly speaking, I would thrive on another music video like this because it is just so good.

I absolutely adore Aru wakenai no sono oku ni as a song and a music video. With its fun, cute sound and dark look mixed with cheesy acting, this is the perfect release to put you in the mood for Halloween. Not only does it have that stereotypical Haunted House and eerie look, but it's lighthearted enough that it doesn't look or feel scary. Yes, it has its moments with the evil ghouls and how menacing they actually look, but it does not overstep or become too serious, and I love that about this video.

There is enough here to make it feel like a true Halloween music video, but it contains an appropriate balance of cuteness and darkness, and not once do Maneki Kecak overstep or tip the scales. Basically, they don't head into the creepy territory that Iketeru Hearts did in their Lucifer music video, which actually did freak me out a little.

Anyway.... I appreciate so much about this music video, but its the cheese that really entertained me. The under and over-acting of the children, the lack of emotion of the members, the jarring edits in the beginning when we see the members in their beautiful outfits for the first time... The wobbly legs in their ghost forms. Everything. I love everything about this video, because it never aims to be taken seriously and only wants you to have fun as you watch it, and fun is what I have had.

I love that the video gives a great amount of focus to the story as opposed to cutting to dance shots every other scene, and whilst we do have solo shots of the members, it is in-keeping with the story; they are always ghosts watching over the kids after they have awakened, and the only time they are shown in their human forms is at the beginning to set the scene, or when they have been revived at the end thanks to the ghouls defeat. Heck, the only time we ever get a dance shot is when they're humans, and I love that. Thanks to there being few distractions from the plot, it allows for the PV to feel more like a story than a music video.

The colour palette is also impressive here thanks to the use of purple and blue tones throughout. Through the use of dark purples and the effect of minimal lighting, the music video feels cold and spooky throughout most of its duration. Honestly, the amount of times I have squinted whilst watching this music video is pretty high, because it's so dark, and that is what makes this video so effective; it really feels like I am watching a scary movie, and though we do have some instances of light - mostly through Maneki Kecak as ghosts when they are illuminated by moonlight - it is not until the end that we really see how bright everything should be, but that is only when the members of Maneki Kecak are returned to their human form.

A nice use of symbolism there; life returns to the manor only when the ghosts are returned to their rightful state.

In short, it's well done despite how bad the acting is here. It's just a fun, cheesy music video that will delight those who like Halloween themed music videos from their Idols, whilst still being visually pleasing and in-keeping with Maneki Kecak's brand. It's all good fun, and I hope that it entertains all of you as much as it entertained me.

For me it is this cute and cheesy masterpiece, and one of my favourite music videos from Maneki Kecak so far. I love how innocent but dark it is, and with every watch I fall in love with it more. Aru wakenai no sono oku ni is a lot of fun, and I really do hope that we have a sequel to this PV. For now however, I look forward to this being the PV that gets you in the mood for Hallows Eve 2020.

Now, let's hope that my blog doesn't become haunted with those horrible ghouls after reviewing this video...

Have you watched Maneki Kecak's Aru wakenai no sono oku ni before today, or is this your first viewing? And did it get you into the spirit of Halloween, or are you in need of a bigger push this year?

Whether you have seen it or not, I do hope that this review was entertaining for you all, and I look forward to sharing a few more spoopy, spooky and squeamish PV's with you all this year! This is only the beginning, dear readers, and it may get a little more creepy from here...

Happy Halloween...~

Take care, enjoy your Idols, be mindful of those around you, please take care of your mental and physical well-being, and whatever you do... Don't visit the Haunted House around the corner...

Until the next post, Trick or Treat!

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