The music video for ‘Panic Station‘ by perennial live favourites Muse was filmed in January 2013 in Tokyo during their tour of their 6th studio album ‘2nd Law.‘ This is the 5th song to be lifted from that album and is supposedly the first one by the Devonshire band to include profanity as it contains the line “Do what the f*ck you want to.”
The original video irked many YouTube users as it featured the rising sun flag (below) in the intro which was originally used as the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army until the end of World War II and is considered offensive by some who associate it with Japanese militarism. It is actually still employed by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and appears in many advertisements. However, after an apology from the band it was later replaced with the Japanese flag and could be read as ‘Panikusu te-shiyon’ as the layout of the katakana script displayed on the video shows.
*You can see the video here
As for locations, this was the easiest of the ‘Music Videos Filmed In Japan‘ series on this site as it only really involved two places. The first one is the inevitable and overly-used Shibuya crossing (below) on 0:37 followed by the band fooling about on Center Gai street and Udagawa-cho which runs parallel to it. The music video was apparently intended to be light-hearted in tone, with the band members and a few costumed extras roaming around dressed as ‘cowboy ravers’ and other fancy dress creations.
Next up is the ‘Randa‘ store at 16-8 Udagawacho (below) where bassist Chris Wolstenholme is leaning against a motorcycle on 0:54.
Just a stone’s throw up Udagawacho on the right is a thin lane known as Spain-zaka which is a short slope between Inokashira-dori and the ‘PARCO‘ malls. A couple of shots of drummer Dominic Howard can be seen on 1:00 and 1:06 with places like ‘Bistrot Gourmand‘ (16-14 Udagawacho) and ‘Party Land‘ (13-4 Udagawacho) in the background.
Back on Center Gai, singer Matt Bellamy features in a couple of clips where he is walking along the shopping street (below) outside the ‘Family Mart‘ convenience store which is across from the fast food chain ‘First Kitchen‘ and its bright orange frontage.
Dominic is seen almost sneakily coming out of a hentai manga place (below) on 1:30 next to a sushi restaurant and on a small road between Centre Gai and Udagawacho with ‘Pronto‘ Cafe at the end of it. This is the 2nd lane on the right as you start off on Center Gai coming from the world’s busiest crossing outside the Hachiko Exit of Shibuya station.
Returning to Center Gai, Matt has now made it a few steps further along and is outside ‘Burger King’ (below) on 1:33 with the yellow signed ‘Matsuya’ (Japanese beef-bowl chain) on the right.
The weirdness of the costumes continues as a guy dressed up in a Halloween-type costume (below) gives chase to Chris on 1:51.
Halfway through the video (2:16) the action moves onto the ‘Robot Restaurant‘ (below) which can be found at 1-7-1 Kabukicho in Shinjuku-ku and with an entrance cost of 5000 yen (£32) I won’t be rushing to get in here. As it is on the second basement floor (B2) I can’t even really get a picture of it from outside so as a rather poor substitute I have photographed the place where you buy tickets for the restaurant at the same address so presumably its beneath here somewhere! One of the photos is of the Robot truck which drives round Tokyo promoting the restaurant. Those of you with limited knowledge of Tokyo should be aware (or may be interested to know!) that this is located in the “entertainment” and red-light district and is full of host/hostess bars, love hotels and so on.
The video does end back on Center Gai in Shibuya with some black and white out-takes (below) included of singer Matt Bellamy and drummer Dominic Howard. Both were shot at the same spot albeit from different angles with ‘ABC Mart‘ and ‘Bershka‘ stores featuring prominently in the background of both.