Pop music is no stranger to faux-queerness. For example, t.A.T.u. made a quite profitable career pretending to be teenage lesbians. They were so popular, there was even a Japanese cover of “All The Things She Said” with, ah, let’s just say, less-convincing acting.
Unfortunately, acts like this are generally meant for the straight male audience — “GAWRSH! IT’S TWO PRETTY LADIES KISSING!” But what about for the audience who wants to see cute boys pretending to be queer?
Well, say hello to MeseMoa. The debut single from their first album is “Shadow Kiss,” and features the nine-member boy band kissing each other. A lot.
Sure, of the 36 kisses in the video, only a few kisses look more passionate than one you’d give your grandmother. But at least we’re finally seeing equal-opportunity queersploitation!
MeseMoa. started out in 2012 as the Morning Musumen, covering songs by the girl group Morning Musume. In 2013, they dropped “Morning” and added a period to become Musumen. — though this year, due to a lineup change, they renamed themselves MeseMoa., and relaunched their career.
Like t.A.T.u., MeseMoa. features awkward punctuation and sexless makeouts. Unlike t.A.T.u., however, queerness appears to be the gimmick just for this song rather than the whole band. The video for “Love Cheer” (“ラブチア”) features no explicit homoeroticism — just cute outfits which are the norm for Japanese pop videos.
Musically, MeseMoa. are pretty average J-Pop. If you’re a J-Pop fan, you’ll dig MeseMoa.; their music is solid, though admittedly uninspired. In other words, less Lady Gaga, more Rita Ora.
While the poses in the “Shadow Kiss” are more reminiscent of yaoi or “Boy’s Love” manga and anime — same-sex love stories made for straight women — there’s still some enjoyment to be had. Especially because without a storyline, the video avoids many of the yaoi pitfalls of unbelievability. It’s just kissing, and sometimes that’s all we need in life.
MeseMoa.’s debut album Secret comes out in Japan April 29.
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