One problem with making Top 5 lists is that you never know when another potential candidate will become available. I wanted to add a little note to the title of this, being “Pre-2013”. I could limit this list to only Sakanaction music videos that were released before 2013. For now, I will just keep the list as titled. When I feel that five videos released this year or later deserve to be on this list, I’ll just make a new list of only videos released in 2013 or later. Or, I can just make a new list that compares all of their works. I do want this list to be one that compares all videos released by Sakanaction at any time.
This preface may make sense when you read the list below and see what didn’t make the list. I can’t say this list was terribly difficult, but I definitely had to leave a few out. They are worth mentioning before I say the official top 5. Also, this is not necessarily my list of my favorite Sakanaction songs. This also means that songs that didn’t make this list are not songs that I necessarily dislike. I just wanted to make that distinction.
-“Bach no Senritsu wo Yoru ni Kiita Sei Desu”
It’s a little strange; that is to be sure. But it also doesn’t ruin the song for me, which is a big factor for a music video. If anything, it set an interesting tone for the song. Certainly, if you had heard this song in some other context and then saw this video, it may give you a different image for the song. As for me, I was enthralled by the way the video helps transition to different parts of the song. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to get this video on the list.
-“Night Fishing is Good”
The song is pretty good, and the music video has a section in it towards the end that is so interesting and clever, that it’s almost amazing that this video didn’t make the final list. I can’t find this video online, so maybe you can search. Maybe they really are trying to keep the video secret? It’s on their DVD “Sakanarchive”, so it’s worth checking out there.
5. “Boku to Hana”
As I said before, this list isn’t necessarily of my favorite Sakanaction songs. This song probably wouldn’t be in my Top 5 list of favorite Sakanaction songs, if I was ever to do one. However, the video itself is quite impressive. You feel as if you’re watch a 4-minute musical that is being set to this song. The idea is brilliant, and the execution is quite good, as well. You kind of feel sad for this flower that the protagonist was adoring for a time. This video really carries the song well and is certainly impressionable.
The video isn’t in black and white, but the setting and feel of the video is so perfect to this song that even if it was completely in black and white, it would be fine. It also does a wonderful job of setting certain images with the ever-evolving music. When color does appear, the timing feels just right with the pacing of the song. But to even talk about the use of color in this video would be ignoring the actual art that was put into this video. There’s so much imagery and none of it feels terribly weird or out of place. It works quite well.
3. “Native Dancer”
Not that any of the videos on this list are not impressionable, but the impression this video leaves you with is worth noting upfront. It doesn’t feel like a dance video, and yet it sort of turns out to be, when the spotlight is down at only the neon-eqsue shoes that the lead singer wears. The focus in this video is also what gets it so high up on this list. You really feel like the song progresses well towards the awesome chorus. It even finishes smoothly, just like the song. This is a great video for a great song.
2. “Yoru no Odoriko”
It helps that this song is so well done, but this video is just too darn good. Honestly, the last minute of the video alone almost makes this video this high on this list. The video does a technique of slowly fading in by actually not fading in. Every so often, and with the rhythm of the song, the video does a cut. With every cut, we are getting closer to the band, and the lead singer. There’s one point where we can’t even imagine getting closer to the lead singer, but we do. During the main chorus, the “zoom cuts” are quick, just like the tone that the song sets.
Speaking of tone, the setting itself is incredible. At the base of Mt. Fuji, we see all of the band members in traditional Japanese garb performing this song. The random Japanese dancers in kimonos don’t hurt either. This is a wonderful video for a wonderful Japanese song.
1. “Aruku Around”
There was pretty much no way this video wasn’t going to take first place in my book. There are plenty of people who like the video for “Bach”, but this video takes top spot for me. I almost don’t want to reveal the major ‘secret’ of the video, but all you have to do is watch to the end and perhaps a second time to see if you understand what has occurred at the end. You don’t feel too tricked, as the song is basically called “walking around” in English.
Besides the ending which warrants the video another watch immediately, much of the lyrics appear on the screen as the lead singer walks near and around them. The idea for this video seems quite clever, and of course the execution is spot-on. The handheld camera used for this video is surprisingly appropriate, even given the context of not knowing the ‘secret’ behind this video. There’s something all the more raw by the handheld camera and it doesn’t seem too off-putting. Simply put, this is Sakanaction’s best music video. Let’s hope they can aspire to having great music videos in the future, too.