Rediscovering the Past: Daihakken and CS Channel by Tokyo Jihen
Then, Reverberation, literally The Sky is Ringing (空が鳴っている), aka. Sora ga Natteiru.
Last but not least, Too Handsome (ハンサム過ぎて), aka. HANSAMU Sugite.
There exists one connecting thread throughout all these PVs — at least through my own lens.
While the album title is Daihakken, meaning “Discovery” in English, the artistic design in these videos has a consistent sense of a “retro” feel to them.
In Onna no Ko wa Dare demo, we see a Broadway musical diva-like Ringo dancing and singing, as if she were the iconic supermodel Twiggy in her unmistakable 60’s mod look.
Then, when the very shot of Atarashii Bunmeikaika sets its focus on Ringo’s vintage 60’s eyeglass frame, we know instantly that this is by no means “just another PV” — that there is bound to be something quirky but very interesting in it.
Sora ga Natteiru, in contrast, is like a mystery at first glance: the only clue that we have seems to be Ringo’s classic 70’s mushroom hairstyle in the first 2 or 3 seconds of the video. Is the band engaged in some sort of secret society ad hoc mission? What are they waiting for? What do their respective references to the human senses of vision, sound, touch, and taste actually mean?
Then, in the PV of the previously unreleased track Handsome Sugite, we see Ringo with her hair set in the prototypical 60’s prom style, delivering the melody lines in her “uniquely Ringo” English diction. To add to the nostalgic sentiments, the whole PV is shot in black and white, while the instruments are in the style of the famous big band arrangements from the 70’s.
So, what can we make of all these videos then?
While I can only stand for my own take-home message, it appears that Tokyo Jihen is making a statement about “rediscovering the gems from the past” as part of what we commonly count as “discovery.”
After all, purging the legacy of the past is like self-denial: odd, funny, and/or absurd as it is to confront our past, the fact that these past vogues had once been immensely (and probably also insanely) popular may well suggest that there might still be some “hidden treasures” therein — waiting to be “(re)discovered.”