If you’ve ever done an interview with Patapon designer Hiroyuki Kotani, you’ve heard him sing “Pon Pon Pata Pon” as he plays through the game. As striking as the visual style for that game is, it’s got nothing on the visual craziness in this music video.
This is “PonPonPon”, the debut single from 18-year-old fashion blogger turned singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The music isn’t inspired by Patapon per se, but if the tune sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because the song is produced by Yasutaka Nakata, who produces Perfume.
“Pon” usually means “pop”, but it can also mean “bang” or even “clop”.
Kyary, or “Carrie” as she’s sometimes referred to, got her start as a “charisma” high school girl, appearing in teen fashion mags. In Japan, charisma is used to refer to trendsetters. She wrote about new fads and started her own, even got her own line of fake eyelashes. And when she wasn’t blogging about fashion, she wrote about playing Monster Hunter – like pretty much everyone else in Japan!
“These people may look so strange in other cities, but they suit Harajuku.”
The “PonPonPon” video was styled by Sebastian Masuda, who owns 6% Dokidoki, a colourful Harajuku clothing store that was originally inspired by 1990s rave culture and Lolita fashion but in the last few years is increasingly obsessed with Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, and macaroni and cheese. This video is literred with that 1980s Americana.
(Aside: I think that’s comedian Naomi Watanabe dancing in the video.)
“People are so fashionable in Harajuku,” Kyary told Time Out. “These people may look so strange in other cities, but they suit Harajuku.”
Japan does fetishise foreign things, but reworks them in a fresh way. Take the recently revealed Lollipop Chainsaw. A young girl cutting up zombies isn’t new, but the early screens of Lollipop Chainsaw look so colourful, so vibrant, so poppy. It’s America – the West coast – on hot pink steroids. Same thing for 6% Dokidoki. Same thing for Lollipop Chainsaw. Same thing for this video.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s debut mini-album goes on sale in Japan next month. Pon. Pon. Pon.
Top photo: ヒルナンデス/NTV
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