Sharing a Sweet Sound: M O R E and Ippo Zutsu [MV]

Opening of 4TE's MV for M O R E.
4TE (for-tay); group members, Jenni, Chii, Micchi and Mei had greeted the new year by revealing all four members of 4TE and the MV for their song, M O R E last January 4, 2015.

The catchy techno sound which is quite reminiscent of the Japanese band, Perfume had fans dancing and shouting for more all over the world.

But their surprises didn't end there. 

Opening of 4TE's MV for Ippo Zutsu.
On February 14, 2015, just in time for Valentines Day, the group released the MV of the second song on their single, "Ippo Zutsu" or "One Step at a Time".

The MV also features familiar faces from the Toronto-based dance group, FrolicLassie, which 4TE's manager Berry Risa is a member.



M O R E


Melody: Christi Arredondo, Jennifer Diaz
Lyrics: Berry Risa, Christi Arrendondo
Music: Richard Garza, Felipe Vilches, Christi Arredondo


Similarities: Silhouettes

My first thought after watching the MV for "M O R E" was that it wasn't only the sound that was heavily influenced by Perfume. Something that I know I am not the first to point out. While the use of silhouettes, shapes, colors and shiny backdrops isn't an entirely exclusive to Perfume, I suppose the response is from the fact that they are the group I am most familiar of having all those concepts.

A lot of people noticed similarities between their video and Perfume's One Room Disco (2009), but am I the only one who thought of Berryz Koubou's Ai no Dangan (2011) first?

Don't get me wrong, the similarities don't bother me at all and I actually do love the video. There are just only so many concepts in the world that similarities can't always be avoided.

Story?


The first time I watched it I thought that it was odd that Mei didn't join the trio in the dance. At first it was because Mei was in Japan during the shooting or that --- they really wanted three girls in the shot to make it more Perfume-like. It actually came to a surprise to me that the video actually did come with a story.  I guess my biggest problem is that the story isn't very clear at first and it just made the video feel just a little strange.

Screenshot of Mei in M O R E.
We find Mei wandering around listlessly around what looked like Japan, until she comes across a poster.

When I first watched it I didn't think that this scene was important at all. We don't see what is written on the poster, except that something is to be "Presented by: 4TE". It could actually be anything.

Is it an audition? A concert poster? A debut poster?

It wasn't only later that I deduced that maybe the story was that Mei was auditioning to join the group? However, it gives out the feeling that Mei is supposed to be already part of the group.

I suppose that is the problem with the video, despite all the gorgeous shots of Mei in Japan. The story is simply not clear and leaves a lot of questions. Or maybe I am trying too hard to make sense of something that I shouldn't.


Ippo Zutsu (「一歩ずつ) 


Melody: Christi Arredondo, Jennifer Diaz, Mei Sasmita
Lyrics: Berry Risa
Music: Richard Garza, Christi Arredondo


It is also translated as, "One Step at a Time" in English. While I wasn't a fan of the autotune, I fell in love with the video because of its whimsical feel and easy it is to relate to the story no matter how old you are. Another great thing is that it is not complicated to understand. A lot of people can relate to what is happening and it fits well with the song as well.

FrolicLassie in Ippo Zutsu
The song is about taking life one step at a time to get where you want to be. Taking every mistake and every hurt because it will someday be rewarded. As someone who is about to graduate from University and apply for a job, this is definitely a song I find easy to relate to.

The video doesn't really focus on the girls of 4TE but on the five girls from FrolicLassie.

Story

The story begins with Berry Risa finding what looked like an old high school photograph of herself and friends.

The five girls played by the members of FrolicLassie. They gather together in a familiar after-school scene. The girls gather around a friend's house snacking on sweets and talking about an assignment on their chosen futures.


  • Cotton wanted to design and model Lolita clothes. 
  • Liz wanted to become a baker. 
  • Berry wanted to become a manager. 
  • Lulu wanted to become a make-up artist. 
  • Nana wanted to become a photographer.


However in order to do all this, they had a few hurdles to go through. Cotton got scolded by the photographer. Berry struggles with management. Lulu couldn't put make-up on right. Of course, Nana needed work to afford a camera.
Screenshot of Berry Risa at the end of the MV.

They eventually do succeed after practice and not giving up. The five young girls grew up to not be girls anymore and at the ending Berry Risa is calling her friends for a reunion. Maybe to look back and remember how far they've come from being those five girls.

Conclusion



Jenni, Mei, Micchi and Chii says,
"I NEED YOU MORE."
I personally still like M O R E as a song the best among their digital release, but I love Ippo Zutsu's video more.

Maybe it is because of the timing since, as I mentioned I am about to enter that stage of my life. Maybe it is because I feel that the story is better told. It is a simple story and in this case I guess less in more.

However, I don't think that it makes M O R E bad MV though. The MV had many good scenes as well.

I love the scenes of Mei wandering around and the white outfits that are different versions of the essentially the same concept.

How can I forget my favorite close-up  scene of where the girls wrote the lyrics of the song on their face ---- or in Chii's case her hand. That scene was perfectly timed and gorgeously shot.

If you want to see them for yourselves, links to both of their videos are found below.

Links


For M O R E: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ae-1O7VFGg
For Ippo Zutsu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCqaycwEv3o

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