J-Pop is a strange beast. Anyone who has even glanced at it knows one has to be crazy otaku to even comprehend its enormity. The genre has enough subgenres, artists and songs to make the legions of Witch House artists give up and go dubstep. Like Japanese youth culture itself, it seems mired in transient trend and fast fashion. So what is it about this one little snowflake of sound and color that makes it stand out so?
Released in July, by August Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “PonPonPon” started to steal the hearts and bandwidths international underground music fiends across the interwebs. Color saturated and super kawaii, it has rolled up more fans than a katamari and is fastly becoming a YouTube favorite that beckons to be meme worthy. The song seems secondary. It is the video that sucks you in. With its playful quirkiness and quasi-witch housian overlays, the imagery is so saccharine it is truly subversive. The first comparison that came to mind was the psychedelia of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. “PonPonPon” seems to operate on the same sort of dizzying sapience. An even odder and more abstract comparison came to mind, as I was immediately reminded of the vulgar and often terroristic prop art of Actionist Paul McCarthy. There really is very little in common, but perhaps it is just the concept that this video represent the future of acktion. To paraphrase Tina Forbis of How I Quit Crack, YouTube is the greatest gallery for outsider artists and sheer brut expression.
Turns out Ms. Paymu X 2 may know exactly what she is doing. As well as being famous as a Harijuku girl and model, Kyary also blogs about her life and culture. Whatever she is doing, I surely hope she keeps doing it. There is a nightmarish charm to the information overload. Exactly the type of stimulation that this blogger craves.- Nattymari