The second video from Tsubaki Factory’s soon-to-be-released single has dropped, and this was the one I was waiting for. Back when short radio rips of “Shuukatsu Sensation” and “Waratte” leaked a couple weeks back I was giddy with anticipation, mostly for “Waratte”. My initial take was that this was a 70s funk jam that should’ve gone to DANCE☆MAN, but I was way off. It’s really a great take on funky ’80s New Wave, and they made a video to match.
Look, I love this song a lot, so this is gonna come off as petty as fuck, but if weren’t for petty hot takes, the internet would pretty much consist of little more than porn, cute animal videos, pictures of food, and porn. I don’t have a problem with the concept of the video at all, as it’s a brilliant way to capture the vibe of the song while still doing it on the usual stingy H!P budget. The staging, the long-ish cuts, the graphics, the geometric shapes background, the (under-utilized) Jurassic-era effects, the blank expressions — all of that is spot-fucking-on. Those parts feel like a new wave video of the era. What doesn’t feel right — or rather, what feels too modern — is the styling and the quality of the video. I could live with the modern video quality had they styled the girls a bit more of-the-era, but they look like they pulled up to the set in a DeLorean from 35 years in the future. They look great, but their late 2010s styling makes them parachronisms in the context of their early 1980s styled video, which could work if it was used to drive an overall narrative, but it doesn’t, because there is no narrative. It’s just a “throw-back” type video, so their modern dress, makeup and hair make no sense.
The video quality doesn’t bug me so much, but even a few scenes of over-saturated, harsh LQ video-cam character would have really brought this to life. It’s a cool video that could have been special with minimal thought and effort based on how much they got right. Still, it’s the music that matters, and “Waratte” is, like, so bitchin’. Coupled with “Shuukatsu Sensation”, this is the clubhouse leader for H!P single of the year.