GANG PARADE, has had a rocky history, with the constant line-up and name changes, members being removed, re-added and substituted, sometimes so suddenly that some fans still call them by their former names Pla2me, POP and SiS. They were the first female group to be signed to WACK and through all of this, they have released four albums before being signed to FUELED BY MENTAIKO in 2019, making their major debut with the single ブランニューパレード (BRAND NEW PARADE).
Firstly, it’s clear to see the difference between GANG PARADE music video for LAST, prior to their major debut, and their BRAND NEW PARADE music video, suggesting the amount of resources and funding that has been ‘fueled’ into the group, even the quality of the video is something to behold.
Their music video opens with the girls hiding away among a bundle of classroom chairs, observing a schoolboy, who we meet in his classroom. We find that he is romantically interested in a fellow classmate, which causes a bulge or ‘horn’ to rise out of his forehead, which could either be interpreted as arousal or embarrassment, but is most likely a sign of ‘coming of age’ as it maintains itself throughout the video, even at different times.
We are then treated to our first glimpse of the girls, reacting in either horror or embarrassment at witnessing this event, they continue to view regardless. In a touching moment, the boy’s friend is an application of a plaster to his head to help hide his embarrassment.
As the video continues, an encounter is made between the boy and girl on the school balcony, they notice each other and smile, although it doesn’t appear to be validation, simply a friendly transaction.
We then see the girls deliver their chorus, the girl’s hairstyles seem to mirror a ‘horn-style’ which suggests that the concept could be that the boy is ‘one of us’, meaning that it’s okay to be different, encouraging individuality. While singing, they hold their fists in the air as they sing the catchy notes that will stick with you, they then perform a strange chicken flap, which is confusing, but not really relevant to this review.
Towards the end of the video, the boy realizes that the girl is already interested in somebody else, before they both start to sprout tree-like antlers – which could suggest they are both different and are meant to be together. They appear in front of GANG PARADE, and observe a private audience with the girls, before returning to the firework display, their antlers have disappeared but they both now have the growth on their foreheads.
The following day, as he enters his classroom, he hands his personal gaming device to his friend, and appears to apologise, to which his friend eventually accepts – the boy’s growth then falls to the floor, as GANG PARADE smiles and cheers for him, the girl looks over to him, perhaps suggesting he has finally been accepted.
The music video is a great watch, with a difficult subject, but ultimately heartwarming. It’s easy to find yourself invested in these characters, and the girls look fantastic, they seem happy and it’s just overall uplifting.
The song itself is beautiful, powerful and uplifting, knowing their history and how they finally received their major debut through FUELED BY MENTAIKO, part of Warner Music Japan, makes the song even more uplifting and powerful, each member vocals are strong and meaningful , it makes you want to raise your fists into the air along with GANG PARADE.
BRAND NEW PARADE, but hopefully not the LAST.