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Tokyo's Mannequin Pop Stars Kill It Like Robots

Tokyo mannequin duo FEMM released a new video, and it’s a robotic trip.
All images courtesy of JPU Records

“Mannequins are people, too” is the message spread by FEMM, the Tokyo-based pop duo made up of RiRi and LuLa, who, as far as their entire creative team is concerned, are actual living mannequins. A few weeks ago, FEMM released a video for their song “L.C.S.” (Lights Camera Satisfaction), and it’s a completely not-disappointing romp of robotic choreography—motion captured, animated, and topped off with a Mannequin scissoring sesh.


RiRi, always on the right, and LuLa, always on the left, wear gray jumpsuits wrapped with black tape that looks sort of like bondage and sort of like the costume Milla Jovovich wears when her character in the Fifth Element is generated in a lab. The costumes double as motion capture suits, helping the creative team to make animated mannequin clones of RiRi and LuLa. In concept, as the video progresses, the computer system becomes “bugged,” resulting in the clones.

Since mannequins can’t talk, we asked maximum10, FEMM’s creative directors, about the inspiration behind “L.C.S.”

“In this video, we aimed especially to widen the gap between mechanical characteristics and emotional expression,” they said. “We wanted to emphasize the inorganic aspects of the mannequins in motion capture. We aimed to make their movements more human, emotionally charged, instinctive with an element of humor.”

As is the norm for FEMM, the choreography is tight and identical, whether between RiRi and LuLa, or their many animated copies. But maximum10 maintain that “choreography” isn’t exactly the right word.

“When they came up in front of us, their movements were like that of mannequins, because they are mannequins, obviously. The aim was to get the mannequins to become as human as possible in their movements and unique behaviour. Our choreography team, Hidali, designed their movements rather than composed the choreography in time to their music. We designed their movements as individual parts, which we could then put anywhere in the song, like gears.”


Watch the full video for “L.C.S.” below.

Click here to visit FEMM's website.


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