This year they are celebrating their 15th anniversary as an idol group: Momoiro Clover Z, commonly abbreviated as MCZ or Momoclo. That this fact will be celebrated in a big way should come as no surprise. The idol group unveiled the music video for their latest single MONONOFU NIPPON, featuring acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei (also known simply as HOTEI). It is a music video that ends up with the group fighting and dancing at a burning dystopian Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The single was released at the start of this month, on 4 August, and is according to the promotion a rallying cry for Japan, boasting the theme of “bringing Momoclo-style entertainment, proudly made in Japan, to the world!”
The music video is set in the year 20X5, the storyline unfurls against the backdrop of Japan that is in the second Warring States Period, showing a combination of traditional Japan, with a nod towards the samurai and a dystopian world. The viewer is invited to follow the journey of a quartet of highly skilled female warriors, the four members of Momoiro Clover Z, that are accomplished in arts known as “Bu.”
Their path intersects with a group of untamed warriors, intent on assaulting a mother and her daughter in the woods. This ends up with the first fight in the music video. Having completed their training and now donning the legendary psyllium god armour, the four warriors embark on a voyage to the incendiary Shibuya Scramble Crossing within a dystopian realm. Accompanied by their allies, they find themselves enmeshed in a monumental confrontation against malevolent forces in the heart of Shibuya at night. As they employ dance and music to audaciously challenge the world while singing the catchy phrase “NIPPON! PO PON! PON! PON! PO NIPPON!”, and it seems that they have been able to create a bit of peace.
Tomoyasu Hotei is unfortunately not seen in the music video, it would have made it interesting to see what role he would have played in the video if he had, but it does feature flags decorated with artist’s signature GUITARHYTHM motifs. During the music video there has been a lot of focus on details of the clothes and weapons worn by the group members while also definitely considering the surrounding environment so that the atmosphere is well conveyed to the viewers. Furthermore, the fight scenes in the music videos should certainly not be ignored. Several fight scenes are shown to keep up the tension of the story the group wants to tell, while the song continues at a high pace as if there is no time for a break. Furthermore, enough time is left for the four girls to dance synchronised with the song. Despite being a music video with a short duration, there is no way to look away throughout the video as it is packed with action.
Interesting to mention: the album cover for MONONOFU NIPPON showcases the iconic kabuto (helmets) and menpo (facial armour), which are reminiscent of traditional Japanese warriors, the samurai. They are in the representative colours of each group member and were sculpted specifically for this single release. The single was written and composed by Kenichi Maeyamada, also known as Hyadain. Over the years, the music producer created several chart-toppers for the idol group, including Ikuze! Kaito Shojo and Nippon Egao Hyakkei. The musical arrangement of the song is crafted by Yuki Tsujimura and Naoki Itai, rising talents celebrated for their exploration of innovative and unconventional approaches in sounds. It has not been the first time for Tomoyasu Hotei to collaborate with Momoiro Clover Z, in 2012 his instrumental work was featured on Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi Yo. For the latest single, Yutaka Koyama has lend his expertise to play the shamisen. To make it complete, drummer Mike Marrington and bassist Hikaru Yamamoto of Downtown Momoclo Band (DMB) also made their musical contributions for this single.
Since Momoiro Clover Z celebrate their 15th anniversary, they have released several tracks as part of their celebrations, such as Ichigo Ichie, Hikarimichi, and Re:volution, which is the 2023 theme song for the professional baseball pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. They have been touring nationwide to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Momoiro Clover Z since last month. It seems that they have many more plans for this specific celebration, keep an eye on their official website.
To highlight the new single, music video ánd the 15h anniversary of Momoiro Clover Z, the pop group made a video message to overseas fans to invite them to celebrate their 15 anniversary together.