She’s done this dozens of times but never quite at this level. At least, dango was never involved in the production, but now that we’re watching her latest video, we wonder what took her so long — it’s a brilliant idea.
Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe, who rose to fame by impersonating Beyonce, has taken her “monomane” skills to a whole new level with her recently released parody of Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s Rain on Me. The video, released on Watanabe’s YouTube channel Naomi Club on July 25, is a near-perfect copy of Gaga’s No. 1 hit: the choreography, videography, costumes — and lip-syncing — are recreated to the smallest detail.
The only difference is that it’s raining dango (skewered sweet mochi) instead of knives, but that only makes the video even better.
The crew who assisted Watanabe in putting the video together included professional dancers, costume designers and makeup artists and was directed by Daisuke “Nino” Ninomiya, an award-winning MV director who’s worked with many Japanese celebrities, including Exile, Babymetal and Ayumi Hamasaki.
A fellow comedian, Yuriyan Retriever, (remember her from America’s Got Talent?) stepped in Ariana Grande’s shoes for the video, doing an equally excellent job as Watanabe’s in impersonating the diva.
Since its release on July 25, the parody video was watched over 3.5 million times — and this number presumably includes Gaga. Posting a teaser in Japanese and English on her Instagram a day before the release, Watanabe said that she had obtained official permission from Gaga to record the video and that she got the idea after Rain on Me’s release in May. “I hope this parody also makes you feel happy,” she added.
The video was apparently shot after Japan’s national state of emergency was lifted in late May.
Despite starting her career with impersonation, this is Watanabe’s first parody music video released on her YouTube channel — which has over 700,000 subscribers and counting. Watanabe, who has since her debut expanded her career to fashion design, acting and producing, is one of Japan’s most famous celebrities and the most followed Japanese person on Instagram.
Here is the video, followed by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s original. Enjoy!