Utada Hikaru and KOHH journey inbetween light and darkness in “Boukyaku” MV

As we recently reported, a new Utada Hikaru MV was just about to be released today, January 19th, her 34th birthday. And it didn’t make us wait for too long because it is already here! As the M-ON list (unintentionally?) leaked, the clip was indeed for “Fantôme”‘s track 9 “Boukyaku featuring KOHH”. The artistic and simple MV features both artists singing as their figures get blurred and dazzled. Light is present throughout the video with a strong metaphorical use, emphasizing silhouettes and even visualizing parts from the lyrics. Check the clip, thankfully uploaded full to YouTube, just after the jump!

What did you think about the video? Can we expect the full version of Nijikan Dake no Vacance now uploaded to YouTube too? Leave us your comments just below!

  • Comments

    • HyperMoot .

      Director Yamada Kento (http://kentoyamada.com/works.html) worked for the likes of Suchmos and Yayhel and he did a great job. I like the contrast between the opening sequence (life) and the second part with the vocals and those words of grief, fear and death, quite striking. I loved the one that was made for Manatsu no tooriame too, which I found very Japanese in its approach but this one might be even better. Don’t know yet, as it’s fresh maybe I’m just …overwhelmed? ;)

      • Sou

        I always envisioned Manatsu no Tooriame MV as that kind of feeling of being reminded of someone by every single thing you see in your day and those “I wish I could still share this with you” wishes. Finding importance in every single place and how it isn’t the same now that that someone isn’t here anymore. I know it’s probably overthought and doesn’t have anything to do with the real meaning the MV may have had, though I haven’t been able to see it in other way since the very first time.

      • Ash

        I don’t think you’re wrong. I think the approach here is way more subtle and hits hard because of it

        • HyperMoot .

          “I don’t think you’re wrong.” Lord! How come I haven’t read that one sooner?

          Really? thank you for telling me I’m not WRONG. It’s a well known FACT that when it comes to music and emotions you have on the one hand the right path, the proper taste of those who know better than you and on the other hand the idiots that need to be educated and lectured in order to follow the glorious path of The Indie and The Alternative so that they be healed from their mainstream addictions. Hallelujah!

          I think that whenever a reader gets approval from a contributor (‘you’re right’, ‘that’s the truth’ and so on) they should receive Arama points and grades.

          Next Open Post, I’ll submit that as a question of the week. Might trigger some views and great debates

          • Ash

            Sounds like you’re the one who got triggered.

    • Sou

      This is amazing! Boukyaku was for sure in my top 3 songs of 2016 (maybe even first, couldn’t really make up my mind so didn’t even post it back in December) and rediscovering the song with these amazing visuals is truly great. It’s just light and faces, but Hikki doesn’t need much more to shine and reach to our hearts.

    • eplizo

      Absolutely STUNNING. It’s kind of how I always envisioned the song myself. Quite possibly my favorite visual of the era or at least next to Nijikan.

      • Liokt

        “It’s kind of how I always envisioned the song myself.”

        I came here to say exactly the same! hahaha

    • Ben

      Am I the only one who doesn’t love this song? I mean, I won’t skip it if I hear it but I’m not gonna put it on my playlist either. It just sounds very basic. There’s no “climax”. I also think this is the weakest song she’s ever done.

      • Ash

        I think, on the album, it’s probably the most interesting song. As a single it seems a bit of a strange choice, because, you’re right, it IS very basic. I don’t think that’s a bad thing though- just serves better as a bridging track on the album. I guess they went for it as a music video because of KOHH being a guest on it?

        It’s not her weakest song though, any of the non-singles on First Love are probably weaker.

    • Beam Yompool

      I’m absolutely in love with all the videos in this Fantôme era. The visual of Boukyaku, one of my all-time favorite songs of hers, looks stylish yet very…immersive and visceral – the microscopic images of cells that move in sync with the heartbeat, the silhouettes of KOHH and Utada lit up and obscured by choreographed light movements that exude intimate, ghostly touch. For Manatsu No Tooriame’s, I did not expect to love it at first as she’s not in it, but upon multiple viewings, those beautifully shot and edited images of Japanese suburban life in summer – fishermen going out into the ocean, kids playing with and watching fireworks – those slices of life that many grown-ups have left behind and can no longer return to are just so resonating to me. Hanataba Wo Kimini has a stripped-down visual that match with the song, and even the relatively flashy video of Nijikan Dake No Vacance shows a tremendous amount of subtlety and comes off very mature and tasteful. As a long-time fan I simply could not ask for more. (OK maybe for a video for Ore No Kanojo)

      • HyperMoot .

        “OK maybe for a video for Ore No Kanojo” my, don’t tease me !! :)

        • Beam Yompool

          That song is phenomenal; I mean it’s placed 2nd in the tracklist for a reason. It already has a very strong narrative, so whatever storyline they’d come up with for the video would have to be game-changing. But releasing 2 videos post-album release is just too unprecedented in Japanese music industry, so it’s just a wishful thinking at this point. A live performance of some sort might be more realistic. :P

        • Thomas

          I would DIE for a music video of that. Would be so cool to see her dressed up as a man in it 😭

      • Sou

        Feeling like that Ore no Kanojo video wouldn’t be able to be uploaded to YouTube 👀
        And talking about Nijikan Dake no Vacance, that was without doubt my favourite MV of the year. It’s exactly that subtlety you say what made it (ironically) shine so bright for me. With every slight movement and every glimpse they shared, a full story was being told. I still feel like emulating them when I get into the subway lmao haha

        • Beam Yompool

          Ore No Kanojo the song might be R-rated but I’m sure there’s a way to make a family-friendly video out of it. ;)
          I think Nijikan video could have gone so wrong if the execution was handled differently; keeping the CGI minimal totally does it a service. The (homoerotic) space odyssey theme of the video is simply ingenious, and the fact that the video and the song debuted at the same time just makes you see the song in a totally different, interesting light. It’s like an updated version of the high-concept video she did for Traveling.

      • Utada Hikaru

        Thank you for your review. She continues to amaze me and love “Fantôme” more and more.
        I’ve only started listening to Utada Hikaru a bit after she released “Sakura no Nagashi”, I didn’t listen to J-Pop much before that. Then I fell in love with “Flavor of Life” and eventually listened to all her Japanese albums. I love this new side of Utada Hikaru and I couldn’t be happier about how different it is from her previous music. The hiatus she took really was a way for her to open a new chapter in her life.
        Some may not love her music as much anymore… and it’s understandable. She isn’t singing the same way she sang “Beautiful World” or any other of her most popular and acclaimed songs, she just didn’t feel like that type of music had anything to do with who she is now. When one listens to “Fantôme”, they can clearly see that, yet Utada Hikaru is still 100% there. And that’s what makes me love her so much, she is still herself yet is showing a different side of her, a more humane and fragile one, and that proves how much she deserves to be called an artist.
        She is truly beautiful and I couldn’t be happier for her. I just want to thank her for being who she is, I really love her.

        • Utada Hikaru

          I hope she never loses that light inside her and continues to surprise everyone with her music. She truly deserves all the love and more from everyone. She makes life make more sense… She’s kind of like the “Studio Ghibli” of music.

    • Ash

      This is the best video from this album by a long shot, gotta ask though, why does the mastering here sound better than the CD?

      • HyperMoot .

        Depends what you use to listen to music. That might be true if you compare the video sound from YouTube and some .mp3 from Fantôme while driving on the motorway. When I listen to Fantôme, I sit down in a comfy armchair, put the CD on my SHM CD compatible player and you cant’ imagine the abundance of details and subtleties you get throughout the entire album. Those details that make a difference between entertainment and music, between zapping and biding some time, details that matter and eluded a few.

      • This song is a BLAST when you hear it with earphones, I have to say it. Maybe the quality of the audio file has something to do with that as HyperMoot says. I have the 320k album and it sounds great, but I agree we have to stand still at least when hearing this album to appreciate it at its full power :)

        • Ash

          Oh no, I own the CD and I still think it’s got a lot of problems with the mastering. That said, I haven’t really listened to it much since it came out as I’m not a fan of the album sans a few songs.

          • HyperMoot .

            And still you maintain that the audio of a YouTube vid sounds better -in terms of mastering, wait they remastered fro teh vid? really? – than the audio track of a SHM CD played on a top Hi-Fi system? Interesting! I’ll try to experiment along those lines in the future like when preparing a sald why use olive oil when cheap engine oil is available.

            • Ash

              SHM CD makes no difference in audio quality. It’s the same with Blu-Spec.

              • HyperMoot .

                SHM CD is not even the point. I’m going to reformulate:

                “And still you maintain that the audio of a YOUTUBE VID sounds better -in
                terms of mastering, wait they remastered for the vid? really? – than
                the audio track of a CD played on a TOP HI-FI SYSTEM? Interesting!
                I’ll try to experiment along those lines in the future like when
                preparing a salad why use OLIVE OIL when CHEAP ENGINE OIL is available”

                • Ash

                  The CD is way too loud… it’s just poorly mastered. Like most things on Universal Japan these days. The 24 bit version is the same. This YouTube one seems to be slightly less intense and less fatiguing.

                  • HyperMoot .

                    The CD is way too loud: subjective, opinion from someone who dislikes the album
                    YOUTUBE VIDS have shitty compressed sound: fact, known by any wanna be sound technician before SAT

                    • Zeroryouko

                      How can ANYONE defend that mastering? It’s garbage. You’d have to be deaf not to notice, and if you spent too much time listening to crap like that, you would be.

                      • HyperMoot .

                        phew I’ll have to lodge a complaint about that company. They sold me that networm repeller and I keep having pests knocking at my posts.

                  • Try with the 320 kbps files, I really don’t have any issues with those (with the correct equalizing and good quality earphones). I’ll also hear the video with the same earphones to see if there’s any difference.

    • *Downloading this before it gets removed and replaced with a ‘short’ version*