Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Welcome back to #MemeMusicMonday, where we make up the rules and the hashtags don’t matter. Last week, we made objects out of pens, apples, and pineapples with Pikotaro. (If you want to see what’s ahead, look no further.)
I’ve thought about making a post about this way back in October 2017, but I wanted a reason to justify it. (#MemeMay was partially a way to justify it. In fact, every post in #MemeMay began as April Fools joke ideas (especially considering the schedule doesn’t allow for them)… and this was the entire reason for all of it! Heck, even while producing the other posts, this song was ingrained in my head and incessantly playing.)
I actually found out about this song through the (W)VGCW Universe of all things. (Yes, I somehow avoided that meme in 2011.) In fact, I dedicate this particular post to everyone there. After all, you’re the entire reason all of this exists! THANKS GUYS
I wish I could say more about the group, but… there’s no much there. Their Myspace page is dead (as with a good portion of it, thanks to the site’s redesign) and there’s no much to go on save for their iTunes page, a blog with a scarce amount of entries that may or may not be official (the YouTube description says it’s official and one post goes into detail about the band and the Keisatsu album), and a sampler of their album on Soundcloud (every other post on their page relates to said album).
GAL-o Sengen (GAL-o Declaration)
It’s a catchy J-hip hop piece. It begins with a slow intro, an almost robotically spoken/sung line, building up with an increasingly rapid record noise and then… quiet, nothing but “Yeah GAL-o Sengen.” It is then that the main song begins, Policeman chanting “GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GAL-o Sengen” repeatedly before moving to its first verse, which celebrates the GAL-o subculture (the male counterpart to the Gyaru subculture that Hello! Project and TNX fans remember as being the main motif for Gyaruru). When you’re close to the chorus, the words become punctuated with sharp calls of “WHAT” before bursting out with a “G-A-L-O.”
The chorus then become melodic, each line delivered with an Ear Worm-tastic tune that is punctuated with a “GO!” sextet.
Second verse follows a similar pattern as the first, same with the chorus, furthering the party aspect of our topic.
The bridge slows down before picking back up, taking on a somewhat chaotic tone. One member (representing the GAL-o’s mother) chants four words (学校, gakkō, “school”; 就職, shūshoku, “[finding] employment” — the “Shuu” in “Shuukatsu” (from “Shuukatsu Sensation”) is a shortened form of this word; 結婚, kekkon, “marriage”; 老後, rōgo, “old age”), reminding our protagonist of “the real world.” The other members, representing our protagonist, distracts himself by thinking of various locales and other aspects of his GAL-o life (i.e. the former Velfarre disco in Roppongi, the Don Quijote store chain, Utahiroba karaoke box chain, the Alife shoe chain). This builds up until a piercing noise halts the song before we get to a reprise of the chorus to send us into the coda.
As outlandish as the MV is, it… does tell a story. (I know there’s a general belief among the J-idol crowd that an MV with “plot” automatically makes it a good one.)
As YouTube user Ailsa Thiel explains…
people seem confused so
what i think this is about: The “Gal” Japanese fashion movement, specifically the one movement where girls would rebel against Japanese standards of beauty by getting a tan and bleaching their hair. Because Vegeta becomes blonde when he’s super saiyan, they probably associated it with him as a joke. In the video he gets a tan, has fun being a rebel, then gets scolded at home. seems about right
what it actually is: Art. Art in its highest form
The video starts off with an exterior shot of a tanning salon as it begins to be used. We move inside, building up as the opening line types itself out. We then get a glimpse inside the tanning bed as our subject goes from a Namekian to the familiar sight of a tanned Super Saiyan, the intro ending with the declarative line.
The tanning bed opens up as the main song begins, officially beginning our tale. Our first verse consists of various mischief the Super Saiyan GAL-os (which will be spelled “Galo” going forward as continuing that spelling will get Super Saiyan Awkward) get into. Strutting around Tokyo, fighting over Gals (yes, seriously) or flirting, flaunting their bling and 9000 Power Levels… just getting into hijinks. The second verse primarily takes place during a party, full of lights and disco balls. The DJ keeps the party going at the Gals and Galos dance the night away and party all night (sorta, as we’ll see. During the chorus, our Super Saiyan Galos eat mushrooms, play cards, and flirt.
All in all, fun times, right? Well, come the bridge, our Galo returns home and is immediately beset upon by his mother. This all descends into a really bizarre Super fight where eventually the entire family gets in on it. This catches the attention of the neighborhood, who watch the fight like it’s Toonami, and it all ends with the appearance of the police… in the form of Policeman themselves.
All done in a style that wouldn’t be out of place in Pop Team Epic (and this predated it, though many recent commentors wondered if the artist for the MV worked on that show’s segment).
…Upon further research, as a matter of fact, it is! We have AC-bu to thank for this memetic madness and indeed, they would later work on that segment of the Pop Team Epic anime. (You know the one. Also cheers for SmilyT1’s comment for pointing me towards that direction.)
This post… This post was quite a ride. This MV, this meme is a true memorable gem. Even without the MV (which is one major reason for its status as a classic recent meme), the song is a catchy piece that will get your head bopping from beginning to end. (I know it has for me during the entire process — and this song’s been in my head for months.)
The MV appropriately illustrates the song’s topic in a style that is that is so deliciously full of Stylistic Suck, highlighting the playfulness of all of this wackiness. If not for that, the MV wouldn’t have a lot of its charm. Sometimes, style (even if it’s not “refined” or to your taste) can add a lot to a product and make it enjoyable. (Insert Thundercats Roar/”Calarts Style” discourse stuff here)
It’s stuff like this that can make a big impact on people’s lives and in this case, besides providing an Ear Worm and source of memes, it inspired an entire month of off-the-beaten path reviews that broke the monotony. (Remember, all of these began as ideas for April Fools’ jokes and when I came up with #MemeMay, there wasn’t much going on in Hello! Project. I’m sure the other J-idol groups were busy (I know Candye Syrup, WACK, Momoclo, and the 48s were), but most focus went to prepping for Hinafes and whatever else I had covered in a January digest — and that was earlier this year Oh, and Tsubaki Factory’s single, but they were an anomaly at the time. The release machine really got going weeks later. …And that was earlier this year. Late 2017 (when I had first gotten inspired to cover this song) was marked by a lot of graduations.)
So… thank you all so much for sticking with me throughout these Bizarro Episodes and enjoying some more unconventional entries into the J-music canon. Will I cover more meme music in the future? Maybe, we’ll see.
In the meantime, I’ll look forward to Breakdown X (and watch Kitsune Hawk’s unintentionally relevant video on the incoming newcomer as I do so).
Until the next one!