Tanaka Tomoyuki, aka Fantastic Plastic Machine
Tanaka Tomoyuki, aka Fantastic Plastic Machine

Gwen Stefani made Harajuku Girls popular and accepted outside of Japan. But Gwen’s music isn’t exactly the kind that Harajuku girls would actually listen to. These candy-colored underaged girls hanging around Tokyo’s Harajuku and Shibuya districts with their candy-colored headphones and accessories are much more in tuned with Shibuya-Kei, a kind of candy-colored electro-pop music made famous by DJ’s like Fantastic Plastic Machine (FPM, see left).

Just like our two friends below, Shibuya-Kei truly is rainbows on acid, and is gaining grounds outside of Japan. Even its less extreme, hyper flying J-Rock agents – Puffy AmiYumi have landed safely to America, bringing us music with beats averaged over 160 bpm, and girls that made us feel old and detached from reality.

FPM produced a commercial animation on behalf of Luis Vuitton (click below). The short featured a young girl eaten by a cute LV monster, and then fallen into a LV rabbit hole. The graphic movie isn’t as well-known as Takashi Murakami’s (remember the psychedelic LV inspired graphics and plastic sculptures exhibited in New York’s Brooklyn Museum), but, you get the point – LV is everywhere, even living inside a 6 year old Japanese girl’s cellphone.

If you want a true taste of Shibuya-Kei through FPM, we suggest to start with FPM’s Beautiful, (click here for Beautiful Days MV on YouTube) a 2001 classic that sweetens your ears without making them bleed.

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