amazarashi continues the theme of expressing societal problem using modern technological methods with the latest music video Philosophy, a song from the upcoming album Chiho Toshi no Memento Mori (地方都市のメメント・モリ), in stores December 13. You will find notable songs such as Singin’ to the Sky (Sora ni utaeba) from hit anime, My Hero Academia, as well as the NieR:Automata collaboration song Deserving of Life (Inochi ni fusawashii).
At last, the first music video Philosophy from amazarashi’s fourth album Chiho Toshi no Memento Mori is out! This song was first teased through a coffee commercial by the brand DyDo back in September. Surprisingly, the commercial was actually somewhat philosophical (well, at least metaphorical), making the song quite an adequate fit.
Guy in green: I’m feeling sluggish…
Guy in orange: One cannot do this alone, but together, it is possible.
Guy in green: As for me, I have you by my side.
What really makes amazarashi’s every grand release so special—such as album and collaborations—is their way of utilizing the various medium of modern technology, not to mention their attention to details.
In the past, we’ve seen them using an algorithm to filter out tweets on Twitter wherever “I want to die” was mentioned, then proceeding to print a whole bunch of these messages in the most appropriate place in Japan: the notorious Suicide Forest. They have also played with real-time tracking to project an augmented robot face on top of vocalist Hiromu’s face, for their music video ending theme.
This time around, they express themselves using smartphones, a search website, alongside a desperate girl who runs aimlessly in a lyrics-filled background. The smartphones represent the medium of interaction, the search engine suggests the place where “answers” can be found, and the insecure fleeing girl is the desperate attempt to escape the negative (online) pressure.
To dig even deeper down the rabbit hole, the lyrics written by Hiromu creates increasing layers of depth to delve further and amplify the depressing narrative of this song. Just watching the music video might have given you the idea that this might just be about petty puberty problems, but as we interpret it, Hiromu speaks more about life decisions. He expresses in the song that life is without purpose, that no life exists for an actual reason. However, in the lyrics, he also leaves a glimpse of faith, that as long as you still have hope, the world might still have something to offer. This is a typical view of an existentialist, or maybe, even so, an absurdist.
Without running too far into Hiromu’s neural network to encompass every opinion and thought of his, the bigger question mainly boils down to if our choices in life even matter at all. To an existentialist, one is not born with a reason to live but can construct meaning by the way one chooses to live. To an absurdist, one should accept that life is pointless, at the same time rebel against its meaningless by searching for a purpose (even though one would ultimately fail). To interpret and paraphrase Hiromu, “The thoughts of mine are for me to solve. Your thoughts are yours, and only yours. [Individually, we make up our own philosophies.]”.
The music video for Philosophy begins with a quote by the celebrated and pessimistic philosopher Emil Cioran, from his book The Trouble with Being Born.
Every thought derives from a thwarted sensation.
Emil is well known to often engage in moral questions, questions most people would find depressing and probably unethical. The reason for that is because many of them touch on topics such as existentialism and nihilism. With all this said, why wouldn’t an existentialist just commit suicide if there is nothing to live for? Ironically, this might sound optimistic for a pessimistic philosopher such as Emil, in his book All Gall Is Divided he explains:
Only optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?
It’s not hard to see that Hiromu mirrors a similar personality as he also expressed himself with a resembling worldview (or of the same) throughout his works. Although, it is interesting to note that Hiromu once—at some point—did have expectations of the world. The result of not having these expectations met became the catalyst of his existentialism view.
It is clear the lyrics and visuals have a significant weight in amazarashi’s music, but the icing on the cake for this album is not the music video Philosophy itself, it is the poems that are joined separately from each of the songs on the album. By the looks of it, it could be that these poems provide another perspective to the lyrics. Hiromu took the time to not only record himself reading them out loud, but also went the extra mile to create visually pleasing animations to amplify the experience. You can get an idea of just that in the short clip below, to fully experience it yourself, visit the album page for Chiho Toshi no Memento Mori on amazarashi’s official website.
You can get your hands on the album Chiho Toshi no Memento Mori on December 13 in three editions. Limited edition A is exclusively getting the live concert “Message Bottle” at Nakano Sunplaza 10.19. For limited edition B, instead of the live concert, this edition comes with an acoustic session and also a bunch of music videos.
Update 2017-12-30: Due to the video now being available through amazarashi’s VEVO channel, the band removed the original video uploaded to their main YouTube channel. At the time of removal, it had 1,373,419 views, 25,015 likes, and 408 dislikes.