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Posts tagged ‘Mariya Suzuki’

What happens in Hanako Oku’s music video for FUYUHANABI ?

I have been enjoying my new Hanko Oku CD + DVD these past two weeks.  I am a huge Oku fan, however sometimes I cannot figure out exactly what is happening in some of her music videos.  In this report, I will provide my impression of  what is transpiring in the new video.  I know.  I might as well try to figure out the end of David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” … but here goes …

Update: 01/22/2015  Record Industry Weasels took down the video posted. The official video from PonyCanyon is only 1 short preview. Sorry.

Please note that I am providing my interpretation of the VIDEO — not the song.  The music video director may have a different vision than Hanako Oku did when she wrote the song.  My null hypothesis is that the song is basically about love gone wrong, or broken hearts.  It is a general Oku theme.  However, Oku-san is very good at musically fleshing out such concepts.  I’m going to assume that the Mariya Suzuki character is supposed to represent the young Hanako Oku.  … or is at least the given Oku song protagonist.

Hanako Oku is seen throughout the video singing and playing the electric piano on a seaside beach in winter.

At time 0:45 we see Mariya sitting at the dresser mirror in her bedroom.

Oddly, as the lady gets up, her mirror refection stays seated, and even looks up and watches herself leave.  (Make sense?)

I think that this means that she is finally able to let something go.  She is willing to finally release something that has been a part of herself for a long time.

We next see Mariya riding a bus.  She is going on a trip.  Perhaps to confront something.

The bus arrives at a seaside resort.  It is the cold “off-season”.  The “winter” in “Winter Fireworks” of course.

Mariya arrives at a nearly deserted restaurant.  She sits near a window.  Outside, there are three young people – one boy and two girls – walking along.  They are all friends apparently.

The youths encounter a wall, and one of the girls decides to playfully tightrope-walk down the top of the wall, while the other girl, not noticing, walks parallel to the wall.  The boy helps the girl who wants to walk the wall.  He takes her hand.  The other girl notices.  The girls body language says that something is suddenly, terribly wrong.

I believe that this is the exact moment when she lost the love of her life.  

Because the boy took the other girl’s hand to help her up, this was the moment that the boy decided who he liked.  The helping-hands couple were at that moment …  a couple.  The girl left alone is frozen in disappointment.  If only she had been the one to take that step.   It happened that fast.   Perhaps it was one of these chance moments that could have gone either way.  Have you ever turned left, instead of your usual right, then encountered something unexpected?   One little change, one chance moment — may change the course of one’s entire life.

Mariya looks out the restaurant window.  This is where it happened.  This is the anniversary of the winter-time date it happened.  Mariya looks on at the girl left alone (herself) sadly.  This is the epiphany she has. One seemingly insignificant moment changed her life forever.  In that moment the one she loved the most was gone.

Years later, she is only now ready to let it go.  She is revisiting the scene so that she can finally let it go.

At time 3:25 during the song, Hanako Oku takes her hands off the keyboard and holds them up in front of her as she continues singing.  So who is playing the piano?  Who does she think she is … ELVIS ?   (Elvis Presley sometimes would not finish a lyric, or even a song — well, because he’s Elvis.)

There are some scenes of Oku-san playing at the keyboard, as artificial snow flies by.  There are several cascading flashbacks of the moments previously seen.  Finally we see Mariya standing next to Oku-san playing the piano.  Mariya has now moved on, and looks skyward – to the future. She has made the mindful decision to stop beating herself up — about something that happened a long time ago, and cannot be changed.  She has gained the compassion to forgive herself.

Both Oku-san and Mariya absorb this moment deeply.   Maria is having a moment of mindfulness as the video ends.

It might not look like much, but is life not punctuated by moments such as these?

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It took this starlight 27 days to reach my world.

Image

Matter versus Anti-Matter

Matter versus Anti-Matter

PHOTO: Hanako Oku meets with AKB48 member Mariya Suzuki for the FUYU HANABI music video.

“MATTER VERSUS ANTI-MATTER”

I love the music of Hanako Oku.  I also love the songs and music videos of AKB48.  Hanako Oku writes emotional piano ballads that touch the soul.  She has become one of my favorite artists.  Although I do not understand Japanese, her emotional music transcends the language barrier.

AKB48 perform all kinds of music, but they are famous as a “pop” group.   I greatly respect Yasushi Akimoto and the AKB48 family of Idol groups.  I think that AKB48 music videos are probably the most FUN things in popular culture!   They are also much more popular than Hanako Oku, and rack up greater sales.  Hanako Oku has critical acclaim, and has what we might call in America a “cult” following of dedicated listeners.   AKB48 has mass appeal, and produces a lot of mass media.  Hanako Oku is famous in Japan for writing commercial jingles, AKB48 is arguably famous for BEING commercial.   I do not believe however, that these two musical acts are worlds apart.  Broadly speaking, both Hanako Oku and AKB48 are part of the Jpop spectrum.   They are just on opposite sides of that spectrum.  They are both great … just different from each other.  There is no reason one cannot like both … in fact you SHOULD!

I have been enjoying my new Hanako Oku CD + DVD  “Kimi to Boku no Michi” this week.  On the DVD, in addition to other things, there is a “making of” documentary (in Japanese) for the “Fuyu Hanabi” music video.  The music video features AKB48 member Mariya Suzuki in an acting role.  (Here is the YouTube link if  you have not seen it.)

I will describe the actual music video in a later post, but I wanted to call attention to something in the bonus DVD.  As part of a “the making of” documentary, there is video of Oku-san and the AKB Idol Suzuki-san meeting each other.

Did my world’s collide?  Did the continents divide?  Seeing this might even be better than the Flintstones-meet-the-Jetsons cross-over episode!

The two ladies have what looks like a nice conversation.  Each is very respectful of the other.  (There are also some photos of this meeting on the official Hanako Oku website.)   I cannot say exactly what Mariya-chan says, but at one point — as she was talking (in Japanese)  I heard Mariya say the word “AKB” a couple of times.  That is when Oku-san got that shocked look on her face (see photo above!).   Here Oku-san looks like she is exclaiming “REALLY?” (only not saying “really” in English, but maybe the Japanese version of  saying “REALLY?”).

I think that given this context, the only thing this could possibly be – to get that reaction — is that Mariya Suzuki  said  “A lot of the AKB girls are big fans of yours”.

Even though it may be like mixing matter and anti-matter together — I’m going to continue to experience the joys of emotive Hanako Oku songs.  At the same time (maybe in the same time-space continuum?),  I will continue to enjoy the “J-fun-tastic” songs and music videos by Yasushi Akimoto and the AKB48 girls.

My universe explodes …

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