Oh, Akimoto, you rascal!

Oh Akimoto, you are a fucking genius. I’m REALLY impressed. 

The team shuffling thing has always made sense to me because idols are supposed to be interchangeable, and if they can become more profitable by grouping them in a certain way, then of course, that’s the way to go for a bussinessman like Akimoto.

But with the RIVER single, he really wants to make sure that he gets the coveted No. 1 position. AKB has the most aggresive PR campaign in their history yet, with the girls appearing in several billboards in important locations, spots for the frontgirls in almost every entertainment magazine in Japan, and of course, Shukan AKB, AKBINGO and SKE Gakuen (or whatever that one is called…) airing the RIVER PV all over the place.

I can’t embed videos for the life of me, but here’s a handy old fashioned link to the RIVER full PV in Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0el26spX7sk

I’ll screencap whenever I get my hands on the decent version, and I’ll probably do a bigger and better review then. But for now, I have to say that this song and PV are AMAZING. For one, they’re out of the sugar bubblegum pop streak that started with Oogoe, bringing on this girlish war anthem of sorts. It’s still a great idol song, and the girls manage to look like idols all through the PV in spite of their camo wear and war props.

I’ll just say one more thing, to all the people who whined about the girls not having firearms in there, this isn’t a PV about war, it’s a song about fighting bravely (like a soldier) to get your dreams and make sure that they come true no matter what and blah blah blah all that standard idol crap, so please FOCUS PEOPLE!

Anyway, I adore this song. I’ve always been a sucker for this kind of gimmicky songs about not giving up because I’m a quitter by nature XD Also, I love how catchy the war chants are! It’s an amazing song if only just because it’s REALLY memorable, and as a proof, I’ll give you the fact that most H!P bloggers are even commenting on this one! Score!

Finally, if there was justice in the world, this song would be the title track of K6. But of course, A’s cutie girls will perform their “rendition” in their 6th stage instead for sure… *sigh*

Now, moving onto Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara (Because I like you) by the Undergirls, we get a super sugary cavity inducing high energy number in a unit that features all of the AKB lolis (including the ultra neglected Maachan!). I have no idea as to why they changed the Undergirls line up so drastically, and it honestly seems a bit unfair to me. I mean, sure, we’re all aware that Amina won’t make it into senbatsu for a while because she doesn’t have the fanbase for it, but pulling Yonechan out of Undergirls? After she barely made it into senbatsu? OUCH. Not nice at all. My guess is that they just wanted lolis in here *shrugs*

Oh, here’s the PV, BTW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ClAnMQjLPA&feature=player_embedded

Lots of people have mentioned how the sunny look of the PV and simple carefree attitude of the girls remind them of the old days of Berryz and C-ute, and I can definitely see where they’re going! While RIVER is great because it sets AKB apart, KimiKoto is amazing because it’s nothing more than idol pop, and it’s great at it! 

Plus, you can REALLY tell that wonky Moeno is getting really pushed, she has like a million close ups!

Last, but definitely not least, it’s the Theater Girls (aka. Real Underdogs) PV, a rehashed song (A5’s Hikoukigumo) and a crappy location (the AKB theater) really didn’t give uch hope to us fans of these girls. However, in an amazing turn of events, the PV turned out really amazing! It’s stupidly simple, but it’s warm and cozy and reminds all of us AKB wotas of the feeling of the theater itself and what the stages are about. Also, Natsumi is seriously the best looking person in a pair of pants EVER. OMG! I totally want her hips ;_; 

Ok, FOCUS CAT. Ehhhm. Here’s the PV for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-BCRe_HITM

Picking a song like “Hikoukigumo”, which is a concert staple of recent AKB history, was a great strategy, because it shows AKB just like what it’s supposed to be, not a posh group of funny schoolgirls, but a theater troupe of idols who create an atmosphere of “friendliness” towards their fans. In this song there’s audience interaction because of the cloths, and it’s just a great idea!

Ok, so now, to wrap this up, why do I think that this is the best AKB single to date? (Not my favorite, but the best, marketing wise) It’s because it has something for everyone. If you’re a casual fan, have the “edgy” and “trendy” vibe of RIVER, along with the familiar faces of the frontgirls playing Private Ryan. If you’re an occasional theater goer who’s smitten with, say, Sasshi, or if you’re just in love with the HAPPY aura of AKB, then have KimiKoto with its sparkly bubbliness (just like champagne, but sweeter XD), fun feel and girliness that it exudes. 

And if you’re just, well, the kind of wota who supports underdogs, and you would never leave the 8th floor of Don Quixote, or you have your name on a plate in the Theater Hall and have been a fan since 2005, then have Hikoukigumo, which features the “unpopular bunch” (this is, of course, completely arguable, since a lot of the girls who got voted for Tobenai ended up here, but work with me), and really gives a great taste of why the AKB Theater is such a magical place for wotas.

It also works in various ways, because by displaying the whole roster, they make sure that people at least find ONE girl they love, and become interested in the group.

It’s an amazing strategy! You know what? I know that my beloved Nakayan probably won’t ever make it into Senbatsu, but if she starts starring in any kind of PVs at all, I’m SUPER HAPPY! And a happy wota of course, means more money for Akimoto.

Damn him and his superior brain for idol producing. This strategy seems almost flawless to me, but let’s see where it gets us anyway…

Also, I really wish that this format is kept in future releases, I’d love if there were 3 different PVs, regardless how cheap they were, as long as all of the girls were given a chance in the spotlight… Wishful thinking…

Disc 4 pt. 1 ft. Reinyan, Takamina and Yonechan

Hi!!! Today I give you 2 Team A members and a B member. Takamina is so legend, she’s super excited about everything and talks non stop, while Reina is more on the quiet side and Yonechan is very good at leading Takamina’s babbling to some kind of point XD

(Srsly, WTF? Fujie was trying to be pushed around that time, so I understand that, but Rumi? I adore Rumi, but she’s all kinds of underdog material. She even missed senbatsu for just 3 votes but got kicked out of undergirls nonetheless, so I just don’t get this choice at all)

·      Takamina is ALL OVER Sayaka in “Sougen no Kiseki”. She even starts chanting her name at all the wrong moments XD I love how all AKB girls are Sayaka wotas 😀 Then Fujie tries to think of a Team A song with this kind of feeling, and Takamina says “Of course, Mirai no Tobira!” and starts humming it, but that song was long before Fujie was around XD Bummer.

·      It’s “Kuroi Tenshi” time, and Reinyan is all excited because this is her unit. The girls all think that this unit is very cool and sexy, and Reina explains that it has a very complicated choreography because they have to shove the microphones in every other girl’s face and it could be pretty dangerous XD Takamina says that there’s a huge gap between Acchan of Nagisa no Cherry and this Acchan, so that fans wen to watch A5 thinking “Oh, Acchan is so cute” but they learned that she can also be cool.

·      “Wasshoi B!” comes next, and Takamina is all giddy about it. She thinks that this is super cute, and she loves it! She was really surprised that they included the names of the girls in he lyrics!  They’re all having fun singing along to the Wasshoi parts XD Takamina and Reina are jealous because B and K have theme songs while A has none, so Rumi tells them that Team A’s theme songs are the ones with AKB in their title, but Takamina won’t buy that XD She says “I want something like A, A, A WASSHOI!” LOL

·      “Nakinagara Hohoende” starts playing, and Takamina explains that she loves it so much that she returned to the hinadan just to watch it 😀 She also explains that Yuko was really nervous when they told her that she had to be solo here, but she still did great (like she always does <3) and Rumi says that the first AKB show she watched was K3 and she really remembers this performance from it. To sum all their comments in one: They think that only Yuko could manage to use the stage just for herself in a song like this .

·      “YumeShina” XD aka. Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikanai has a choreography that Takamina really loves, she’s always happy whenever she’s able to dance to it. She says that it’s a really long title, but it’s still cool, so it’s ok 😀 They say that even though AKB are idols, they’re glad that they can sing songs like this sometimes too.

·      Takamina says that “Only Today” is one of the most popular songs among Team A members, they all love it! Rumi says that back when she first joined Team B, they went to a Team A lesson, and she had to dance to this song, but she couldn’t do it at all XD So Takamina asks her what did she think of her back when she first saw her and Rumi replies “The girl in the center is tiny!” XD LOL

·      They all like BINGO! a lot, they think that it’s a fun song. Takamina says that the dance was really difficult for her at first. Reinyan comments that this was the audition song for Kenkyuuseis, Rumi says that Team B’s was Virgin Love and Takamina says that Team K’s was AKB48 😀

·      Apparently, when Takamina first saw the “Tenshi no Shippo” costumes she thought “What the hell??? But they’re cute!” She says that she’d like to perform this song, and tells Rumi “Because in a song like this, it’s ok if the center girl is tiny” XD

·      In “Renai Kinshi Jourei” they all agree that it’s super cool, and Takamina says that because there were no microphones, only headsets, she didn’t know what to do with her hands most of the time at first XD Also, she says that it made her really happy to be placed in a “dance unit” for the first time.

·      “Sasae” starts, and the girls are mostly quiet during the song, they say that it’s a really great song, and Rumi says that the feeling of having your whole team supporting you it’s amazing, so she compares it to B’s Shonichi. Is Takamina crying there? O_O

·      They all think that “Gomen ne Jewel” is a great song, and they love the costumes because they’re sparkly 😀 Also, Takamina LOLs at Rumi because she’s apparently dancing way too enthusiastically in the hinadan “But the fun part of AX is that you can watch all the performances!!” she replies, although she admits that it’s a bit embarrassing XD They also say that Team K always gets the difficult dances so they admire them for that

·      When the background music for “Faint” starts, the girls are all super happy to see Hana! Also, Takamina  says that Faint was the first dance unit given to Team A so she was very happy about that.

·      About “Junai no Crescendo” Takamina says that this was a difficult dance to learn (are there too many difficult dances in this part of the concert? or does she just find most of the dances complicated? XD) and she says that she was very surprised to see how grown up Miichan looks in this despite her age.

·      They are all TOO excited about “Kioku no Dilemma”, because apparently they all think that it’s an amazingly good song. So much, that Rumi has had it on “endless repeat” in her music player! They also gush about the costumes, saying that they are awesome, and there’s never been something like that before in AKB.

·      “Oshibe to Meshibe to Yoru to no Chouchou” turns the girls into a fangirling overly excited giggling bunch. They are just “Ohhh-ing” and “Ahhh-ing” at everything XD

Disc 3 pt. 2 ft. Sayaka, Sae and Nacchi

Ah! This is definitely my favorite part of the commentary, these girls are hilarious! They are fangirling about every song, making fun of each other, imagining what would it be like to sing those songs themselves in a crazy way… Really, Team K is so awesome! 😀 😀 😀

  • The girls say that  the arm waving choreography in “Ai ni Ikou” is very concert-like, and Sae thinks that even though it sounds happy, this song has sad lyrics, so it was difficult for her to get the feeling right.
  • In “Heart Gata Virus” they all say that it’s a very cute song, and Nacchi says “If there’s ever a Team K version, I’d like to see Sae, Sayaka and Yuka, I’m sure that the feeling of the song would change completely” XD
  • “Nagisa no Cherry” ft. Acchan XD the girls say that it’s cute how her hair now looks like her hair back in A2, and how AX is nice because it brings back old songs. (although Nagisa no Cherry has been WAY overplayed lately, IMO)
  • “Baby Baby Baby” starts, and Sayaka says “OHH COLORFUL” She’s so cute 😀 Then the girls go on about how they all look like dolls and everyone looks cute.
  • “Kagami no Naka no Jeanne da Arc” is a favorite of the girls, and Nacchi and Sayaka talk about how they performed it at the shuffle concert. Then Sayaka says that she performed it with Team B once too, and she randomly says that she really loves Sasshi XD
  • It’s “Korogaru Ishi ni Nare” K2 style! Sayaka says that she loves the look on Yuko’s face when she sings Korogaru, because she looks super fierce! Nacchi says that the first time she read the lyrics, the “We’re the Team K” part was really surprising and in K2 shonichi, the fans loved it right away.
  • “Nage Kiss no uchiotose” starts, and Kayano comes out so the girls point out how AX is nice because it brings back the graduated members. They also say that they’d love to do a K version where all the girls would be in black suits pointing guns at people XD Man, these girls are crazy!
  • The girls say that they really love “Kaiyuugyo no Capacity”, the choreography and all about it. They say that it’s a very cool song, and they are rather surprised at how cool it looks, because they say that they’ve never quite seen it like this, because being there dancing it makes it look different.
  • In”Namida no Shounan” Sayaka and Sae talk about how they’d love to perform this, and Nacchi says that she’s already done it in JCB so the girls get jealous XD Sayaka is really bummed that she couldn’t make it to that concert, and asks who performed it, and when Nacchi says that it was her, Yuko and Natsumi she laughs because Yuko is tiny so she doesn’t really fit in this unit, so Nacchi says “Not really, because Yuko can look huge when she performs, that’s her biggest strenght” (The Yuko fangirl in me had to include this part :D)
  • When “Tsundere” satrts they talk about how Tomochin and Amina really fit this song, but Kitarie looks like she’s trying to learn from them, which makes her even cuter. And Sayaka says that she’d like to perform this song “A Real Life Tsundere” she says XD
  • About “Kinjirareta Futari” they say that they love the overall feeling of the song, it’s very mysterious and pretty. And they also say that because Yuko and Tomomi are so feminine they can pull off this song very well. LOL at Nacchi saying “Why is it that Tomomi-chan always fits so well in this type of songs'”
  • In “SHAMUNEKO” they laugh because the stage is so big compared to the theater that they have to make all of the dance steps look wider, so they say “This isn’t a cat, it’s a CHEETAH LOLOL”

Disc 3 pt. 1 ft. Harunyan, Myao and Mariko

Hi! Welcome back to another installment of this little series. Today we have a Team A only group with Haruna, Myao and Mariko. The feeling I got from listening to this part of the commentary is that there is quite a gap between original (or pseudo original in Mariko’s case) A members and the new generation. That is not to say that Mariko and Haruna were mean to Myao or anything, but there’s simply a quite noticeable difference between them.


Mariko said that “Blue Rose” was the song she wanted to watch the most, they all think that it’s super cool, and Myao talks about how she was very surprised when Meetan took ff her trenchcoat to reveal her gold bikini last year XD


“tadaima renaichuu” is a very popular song, and the girls all agree that fans get really excited to watch this performed. Then Haruna and Mariko say that Myao is very cute, and after that, whenever Mariko appears, she says “OH HOW CUTE I AM” to herself XD


“SKE48” is song number 48 so the girls hype about this for a bit, then Myao says that she’s been to the big wheel thingy in sunshine sakae with Takai Tsukina. Then she says her catchphrase and explains that it’s like a song, so Haruna goes “What kind of song is that???”


The girls say that “Aozora no soba ni ite” is a very nostalgic song, and it’s cute and also, the choreography is very cute. And Haruna tries to explain how she feels when she sings this song but fails at it XD


In “Tonari no Banana” Mariko and Haruna ask Myao if she’s performed this song before, because it looks like “her style”, so Myao says that she’d like to perform it some time, doing Kasai’s part with Erepyon.


“KimiPega” LOL Haruna says that when she performed this song she thought that it was very difficult because it’s a cool song, so she rehearsed a lot to get the feeling right. Myao doesn’t know what a Pegasus is, so Mariko explains that it’s a dream horse. So Myao goes “Ahhh, like Napoleon’s horse or something?” LOL


It’s “Bye Bye Bye” time, so Haruna is all excited. She says that she really loves the costume and there’s a part where Miichan and her start jumping around weirdly, so Mariko says “WTH is that” and Nyan explains that they’re doing an A and then  X : AX! O_O


Myao says that she loves “Shiroi Shirts” so she starts clapping along XD The letters on the girls read: In AX too, let’s sing all together Shroi Shirts with a smile


In “Confession”  Mariko isn’t sure if she performed it or not, until she sees herself there XD The girls talk about how cool she looks in this song, and Haruna says that she loves it. Myao doesn’t know what a confession is either XD Lucky for her, Mariko the dictionary saves the day again


It’s “Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka” senbatsu version. And that’s pretty much all they say, other than the usual “Oh that costume is cute” or “XXX looks cute there”


“Amai Kokansetsu” plays and Mariko says “Funny, after the super young unit of Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka” then she starts pestering Myao about how he should give it a shot, and Myao says that she’d love to perform this song in that outfit too!


according to Mariko, “Himawari” is a song that can make you happy (I agree). Myao says that it’s very concert-like.


“7ji 12fun no hatsukoi” it’s the song that Myao wanted to watch the most, because she’s part of it. She talks about how Chiichan was very happy that she got to wear pink, which is her favorite color.

 See you next time ft. WE ARE THE TEAM K!!!!!!! XD

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