Ai Otsuka’s given name means love and she has never ceased to remind us this on every album she has released: LOVE PUNCH, LOVE JAM, LOVE COOK, LOVE PiECE, LOVE LETTER… Her first greatest hits collection was entitled Ai am BEST, and her new collection, to be released November 11, is exactly the same: LOVE is BEST. It’s a tad more inclusive, ditching the “clever” wordplay for a more straightforward, in your face, in case you didn’t quite catch it the first time summary of everything Ai Otsuka writes and sings about. But everything in her world isn’t just filtered through the permutations, challenges, setbacks, and joys of love, it is love; “Is” being the key word. And I mean everything.
She bleeds love.
She is nourished by love.
She is guided by love.
She leads the path of love.
She is the preserver of love, finding value and beauty in it in a world where it has become a product, an expendable physical object which carries as much sanctity as chewed gum.
She’s the love bag lady, dedicated enough to go dumpster diving to pick through and salvage it.
Ironically, what this whole concept really does is ultimately expose Otsuka as a naive love recycler (and not the kind where one person’s love trash is another person’s treasure), re-packaging love in different ways back to us, over and over and over again.
The task seems almost bereft of nobility toward the end; it’s one thing to view the world in heart bubbles and believe in it so earnestly you’ve abandoned a life of upward mobility and health insurance for the sake of keeping the world spinning on a healthy supply of love, whether it’s in a physical form, a begging-to-be-healed form, or even a soft drink form, but it’s this last one that confuses me. Otsuka’s entire schtick may be love, love, love, but the video promotes Otsuka’s schtick as love = commodity while seemingly ignorant that it’s doing so. Joke’s on her? If only it were that kind: Otsuka gets run over in the end, her posessions immediately abandoned to the same landfill she used to rummage through. But don’t start feeling bad just yet. Lonely would hardly be a good word to describe her life. She was skipping through the streets, twirling her skirts, and reveling in her own quirkiness: Otsuka may have been alone, but she seems to have fed off of the love around her, using it for her own personal gain. If she really were an anime character the way the novelty glasses she wore illustrated, she would have probably been the villian.
But she’s Ai Otsuka and she’s just so…lovable.
Is PV ░ [ View ]