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Kira Kira Killer

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"Kira Kira Killer" (きらきらキラー Kira Kira Kirā?, lit. "Glitter Killer") is the first limited run single [1] by Japanese singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. It was released on June 11, 2014.

The song (along with "Ninja Re Bang Bang") was featured in the 2016 American animated film Sing during which five red panda girls perform the song as an audition.

Release details

The physical CD single will be a limited edition run of only 7,777 copies,[2][3] which will come with a number of special goods (a glittery sticker featuring the cover artwork, signed mini-poster, and vinyl bag containing the single), as well as a code for entry into a raffle (for residents of Japan only) with the chance to win one of a number of additional special goods,[4] including:

  • a sparkly ‘Kirakira’ hair tie (777 people only)
  • a ‘pierced by an arrow’ T-shirt that matches the PV for Kirakira Killer (777 people only)
  • a mask to match Kyary’s in the PV for Kirakira Killer (777 people only)
  • one of Kyary’s personal things (1 person only)

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Kira Kira Killer (きらきらキラー Kirakira kirā)"   4:16
2. "Kira Kira Killer (Extended Mix)"   5:11

CD Artwork Personnel

Credits adapted from liner notes.[5]

  • Steve Nakamura – art director, designer
  • Shinji Konishi – hair, make-up
  • Kumiko Iijima – stylist
  • Takeshi Hanzawa – photographer

Music video

Description

The video starts with an arrow with a heart-shaped arrow-head flying in a sparkling background. The arrow pierces through Kyary's chest as she is completely surprise and she dies on the spot. Her soul leaves her motionless body through an Out of body experience and she is taken to the afterlife. Kyary then explores the area and a guardian appears. The guardian demonstrates his power to Kyary by showing her he is both in front of her as well as supporting her with his hand. She is very surprised and removes her mask. The next scene shows Kyary dancing around. After that she is walking on the globe on top of three elephants on a turtle. The guardian and Kyary stare at an apple falling off a tree. Then when the apple falls, it is shown that they are standing on a globe shaped like an apple. A snake then carries Kyary out then swallows her and then she slides out of the snake's body. The guardian and Kyary then look at ball bouncing back and forth. She then does some calculations and realized that E=mc^2. The guardian calls forth lightning, and a hoverboard is created where the lightning hits the ground. Kyary steps on the hoverboard then rides through a vortex with the guardian. As she hops off, sparkling lights appear and her outfit changes from dark to a white and more feminine outfit. She then jumps for joy on a flower. Her soul returns to her body after. In the end, Kyary is shown wielding the bow and arrow that pierced her heart in the beginning. Due to intense movement of scenario and involving song, some people reported EMDR side effects, including a sense of discomfort after repeated exposure.

Creation

The general plot of the video clip can be described as Kyary being struck down by an arrow of love, having an out of body experience, then achieving enlightenment through her time in the world of death, all in typical Kyary humor.

Video clip director Jun Tamukai (田向潤) from the outstart floated the idea "Let's have Kyary die", which Kyary supported saying she "'d like to do something around dark fantasy", the pre-plot of the video clip became "Kyary learns the secret of the world in the afterlife".[6] Kyary commented "I wanted to have a theme that turns around the theme of glittery kawaii pop, and show a darker fantasy theme including a glittery assassin" [7] (kirakira is a phenomimetic expression for glitter or glisten, kiraa is the word 'killer' assimilated into Japanese). The first part of the song shows a verse/bridge structure with religious and spiritual themes, such as skeletons, eggs, whereas the second part is more anchored in science demonstrating the law of gravity and relativity.[6]

Scrupulously following schedule, the video clip was shot during two days in May 2014.[7] The two outfits that Kyary wears took two weeks to make.[7] The first costume is eerie and ominous,[7] a costume with a dark theme that Kyary didn't show until that point.[8] The lumpy styrene on the skirt and arms shaped like rain clouds, with a contrastive silvery mask and body protection, shows Kyary fighting in the other world.[7] The outfit she wears in the conclusion, shows "Kyary Pamyu Pamyu having achieved enlightenment - Evolution".[7]

To express the movement and franticness of the music, video-clip director Jun Tamukai used the 4D Views technology.[6] This special technology scans and records the movements of the actor at the millisecond scale, and enables the replacement of complex camera work involving cranes with a computer rendering. However, to ensure image quality, the director only used this technology for far away shots, and actual actor footage for close-ups. Special care had to be taken to hide the transition between the two.[6]

The scene where Kyary stands in front of a row of speakers singing her heart out is an hommage to Asian Kung Fu Generation's singer Masafumi Gotoh (後藤 正文) and the music video for their song Rewrite.[6] During the filming, the staff shouted her to "Sing it like Gottchi!".[6]

The stylist for the music video was Iijima Kumiko (飯嶋久美子).[7]

Themes

In an interview, video clip director Jun Tamukai said there is no need to explain the themes and construction for the clip, since it is possible to figure out most of them by oneself. The list could therefore be considered a spoiler and no replacement for personal interpretation.[6]

The video clip references:

  • death
    • Kyary dies at the beginning of the video clip
    • a skeleton is present
    • the world is set in the afterworld, with a guardian spirit guiding Kyary
    • Kyary has an out of body experience and sees a blinding light faraway
  • religion
    • Christian crosses are present, as well as an apple and snake from the garden of Eden
    • buddhism, through the themes of rebirth, the presence of flowers shaped like lotus, as well as the reference to Journey to the West
    • the ying and yang of Chinese philosophy
    • shintoism, through the animal shaped guardian spirit
    • the Greek god of love Eros, with the arrow shaped like a heart
  • science
    • the apple falling from the tree references Newton's discovery of the law of gravitation
    • E=mc2 expresses the duality of energy and matter, shown when Kyary sings 'ki ga tsuite' (to realize), the guardian uses the law to create a matter hoverboard from lightning energy
    • The ball (a photon) bouncing between two lines (reflective surfaces) is also a common toy model for demonstrating time dilation in an accelerating reference frame - and is loosely related to the mass-energy equivalence equation. The trajectory of the photon represented in space time coordinates in the mirror's reference frame would be a triangular wave.
    • since both are relativity related, Kyary is very probably dressed as Einstein in her eureka moment
    • subtractive color synthesis, the colors one minute into the video are CMYK
    • periodic functions and a triangular wave where the video repeats itself, shown when Kyary sings 'onnaji tokoro' (same place). Jun Tamukai cited the Chemical brothers' Star Guitar as an influence. The video clip can be looped as the end chains to the beginning.
    • simple mathematics, with plus signs, multiplication and numbers
  • popular and classical culture
    • Back to the future, with an hoverboard and a ligthning strike
    • Journey to the West, where the Monkey King confronts the Buddha and is told he will be free if he escapes his hand, the Monkey King jumps as far as possible, finds five pillars and inscribes his name, when he lands the buddha shows him his palm with the Monkey King's name written.
    • Discworld a surreal fantasy literary universe where the world is resting on four elephants resting on a turtle. With a nod to science, the world is not flat and coriolis forces induce the presence of jet stream. The three elephants instead of four might be for aesthetic reasons or to avoid the number four, associated with bad luck in Japan, Korea and China.
    • Fish swimming in a pond, drawn in the style of sumi-e or Chinese ink painting.

References

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