Um … wow.
Admittedly, I usually don’t expect a whole lot from the music videos of Japanese pop groups, because generally speaking, the companies don’t seem to put a whole lot of budget or effort into them. Fair or not, that outlook has been slanted by the generally vapid and pointless music videos of idol pop groups, but that remains my general feeling, nevertheless.
Pair that initial skepticism with the fact that Japanese companies make it insanely difficult to view the music videos in the first place, and one could say my desire to watch them is usually almost completely lacking.
I made the effort with EXILE‘s “ALL NIGHT LONG” though, and I’m glad I did because it’s something else entirely.
Basically, it’s a short film Japanese version of “300” mixed with “13 Assassins“, but with EXILE instead of Spartans or ronin.
There’s a plot, but it basically consists of slow motion shots of EXILE looking hardcore as fuck and then doing fight choreography in these awesome looking costumes that remind me of video game outfits they give historical characters in games like “Dynasty Warriors“. Needless to say, it’s awesome.
The effects used are surprisingly quality and the sets are exquisitely done. Put it this way, any time you leave the viewer asking, “Geez, how much did they spend on this one goddamn music video?“, you’re probably doing something right.
Sure, it’s derivative and cliche to the extent that it borrows heavily from movies like “300″, “13 Assassins”, “Lord Of The Rings“, and other epic works, but it’s a music video, not an attempt at an award-winning original screenplay, so that’s of minor concern.
I really loved the concept though, not only because I loved the movies it took cues from, but also because it meant it involved all the members doing meaningful things instead of just having them dance around while ATSUSHI and TAKAHIRO belt out the song. Hell, the thing comes off like an acting reel for potential action stars.
Overall, the music video serves its purpose almost flawlessly, as it’s probably one of the most impressive PVs I’ve ever seen.