Monday, October 27, 2014

Pharrell Williams - It Girl

This song "It Girl" really appeals to me as I came across this song when I read a controversial article about it. The video has been produced by visual superflat artist (who I am a fan of) Takashi Murakami who has won global recognition portraying anime as a pop contemporary art with the Superflat movement. While browsing the Superflat art movement I came across Murakami's book Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture which I would be very keen to read. Other Superflat artists worked on this video such as Mr., who directed this music video and artist Fantasista Utamaro. 

I really think it is amazing a well known singer teaming up with a Japanese anime artist and releasing a music video in the anime style. Sure we had seen anime creep up in the mainstream in the past with Hatsune Miku appearing on the David Letterman Show, Avril Lavigne releasing a music video dedicated to pop icon Hello Kitty, also anime has not only popped up in the music business but in Hollywood movies such as Pacific Rim, Kill Bill and with the Matrix.

This video isn't just your generic anime style but in a style that is "otaku" and one thing that stands out and yet perhaps controversial. The video displays beautiful and cute girls who somewhat come across as characters from the Lolicon genre and the video portrays dating sims. I can see this video perhaps causing disturbance but the video in my opinion is very beautifully done, with gorgeous magical visuals, with elements of "moe" (see Patrick W. Galbraith's The Moe Manifesto) and quite clever depicting reference from Otaku culture, it doesn't just come across as a stereotype of "kawaii" there is something more deep here. Also according to wikipedia the Album "Girl" where the song comes from has been described as a "feminist" album.
The theme of the album is an attempt by Williams to eliminate what he sees as an understandable degree of uncertainty over what his attitude to women actually is. Referring specifically to his controversial collaboration with Robin Thicke and TI, 'Blurred Lines', he notes that with its "questionable lyrics, and the nature of the aesthetic of the video, it's easy to get confused about that." So 'G I R L' is him trying to put the record straight.
There's an imbalance in society, in my opinion," he says, "and it's going to change. A world where 75 per cent of it is run by women - that's a different world. That's gonna happen, and I want to be on the right side of it when it does."
Source -

As I am a big anime, manga fan and a cosplayer interested in otaku culture I try not to be biased. However The NewYorker wrote up an interesting article on how this music video could come across as controversial which I would recommend to read if you want to look at both opinions.

Sure watch the video yourself and make a judgment! I would be eager to hear peoples' thoughts on this.

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