In honor of Kis-My-Ft2’s complete videography being uploaded to YouTube (in edited form, of course…), I can’t resist writing about each single. To put this in context for Bias List readers, Kis-My-Ft2 (or Kisumai, as they’re often known) are my J-pop version of Infinite. That’s how much I love them and their discography.
Yet, I rarely write about them because finding online links to their music was so hard… until now!
Akai Kajitsu (2017)
We’re right back to rock opera territory with Akai Kajitsu. To me, this song has always felt like a conclusion to the Tonight/Explode double-punch from earlier in the year. It carries a similar energy, fueled by guitars and chugging dance beats. It’s also larger-than-life, opting for the sense of symphonic grandeur that characterizes many of Kisumai’s best tracks.
When thinking about Akai Kajitsu, the word “ornate” immediately comes to mind. Both its melody and production have a theatrical quality that makes it feel dense and intricate. But beyond these wonderful flourishes, the track’s structure is pretty straightforward. This gives it drive and momentum – two ingredients I’m well-known for enjoying in a pop song! It manages to sound overwhelming and approachable at the same time. This is thanks to some wonderfully sticky melodies. True to Kisumai form, the chorus is epic and satisfying and full-throated. Every other melody supports this centerpiece, including the addictive swirl of the verses and the chant that opens the song and echoes each chorus. It’s taut songwriting, blown wide open with ambitious scope.
Much of the song’s theatrical connotations come courtesy of its fantastic music video. The guys go all Les Misérables on us with a visual that belongs on the stage. The YouTube version is cut at the beginning and end, but the basic story is simple: Music has been banned from this vaguely European city and it’s up to our heroes to rescue the instruments and bring happiness back to the townsfolk. It’s wonderfully simple and executed with tongues planted firmly in cheeks.
Although this is a single (it would later appear on 2018’s Yummy album), Akai Kajitsu’s coupling songs are all brilliant. They include one of my all-time favorite Kisumai tracks, which I wrote about in detail here.