Genki Sudo and crew hit some of the most recognizable sights of London for their latest music video, “Informal Empire.”
As you may know, we here at Tokyo Weekender are quite fond of the MMA fighter—turned-musician-dancer-philosopher, and after catching a few of World Order’s earlier videos, we think you’ll be a fan as well. The group’s clips are best known for their slow-motion running and closely choreographed “robot dancing,” as well as the bemused reactions of the people who happen to be in the area while the cameras are rolling.
The group is based in Tokyo, and the first of their videos were shot around the city; however, as their popularity—and financial support—has grown, they’ve started shooting in locations around Japan, and overseas as well—including locations such as New York, Washington DC, and South Korea. This time, the boys in sharp suits dance their way through London, dropping by Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Abbey Road, the streets of Camden Town, and even a chip shop for a break to eat.
During his fighting days, Sudo was a striker with a philosophical bent, and this deep thinking has carried over into World Order’s music and videos. Going along with the increasingly complex choreography is a larger political theme, one that comes through clearly in the titles of his recent songs: “Imperialism,” “Machine Civilization,” and “Permanent Revolution” are just a few examples.
And despite the playful appearance of the videos, there are frequently deeper currents that run through these songs. Many lyrics send out a call for listeners to free their minds and stand up against political systems of control, as can be seen in these lines from “Permanent Revolution”:
Concession and the plantation
Our dreams, under the control,
It’s the, End of Imperial history,
Now let me show you the ocean of the prime.
Given that the term “Informal Empire” is used to refer to the “soft power” that stronger nations have historically wielded over weaker ones—and that the video is shot in a nation that was known for having an empire over which the sun never set—Sudo and crew may have more meaning behind their moves than meet the eye.
Have a look for yourself: