Flower by Maeda Atsuko


Ok, people, I honestly haven’t payed much attention to Acchan’s new single, so I figured it would be a good time to review it!

Maeda Atsuko – Flower

maeda-atsuko-flower

So, this is the day that the whole AKB fandom was pretty much expecting, where the top ace of the group would finally get her solo single and prove everyone what she’s made of.

So let’s see how did this single fare for me.

1. Flower: The title track, and also a theme song for the movie Acchan starred in, Moshidora. The song is a sweet laidback mid tempo tune, which greatly highlights Acchan’s sweet voice. The backing vocals are very good and help the song feel fuller. The PV for the song was a little story that I couldn’t understand very well xD We see Acchan and a little girl (presumably a little sister) embarking on a journey to meet their ill mother, but then when they meet the mom, the little girl becomes Acchan or something. It’s quite weird, but that’s nice because it makes people comment and leaves things a bit open to the viewer’s interpretation.

Rating: 4/5

2. Kono Mune no Melody: Moving on to the main B-side of the single, this one is a bit more upbeat and kind of rocky sounding. The instrumentation is very rich, however, I find myself not liking Acchan’s voice as much here, it loses a bit of its sweet quality when she sings in a powerful way and the amount of vibrato in the chorus doesn’t sound so good to me. I’m also not a big fan of the falsetto either, especially in the little a capella-ish chorus, it sounds as if she’s struggling. Anyway, good change of pace from Flower, but not that good of a song by itself.

Rating 3/5

3. Hoozue to Caffè Macchiatto: This song is the exclusive B-side of the Act 1 version of the single. The first time I heard it I thought it was kinda dull, but now that I’m listening to it more closely, I think it’s a beautiful song. A nostalgic ballad, it highlights Acchan’s voice very well, she’s really at her best singing slow paced songs IMO. I like this song a bit better than Flower because I feel like this one is more melodic, although Flower’s chorus is catchier.

Rating: 4/5

4. Yoake Made: Another ballad, this one is the B-side that comes with Act 2. It’s a bit happier in tone than Caffè Machiatto, and I like the little flute arrangement in the instrumental break. The chorus is very soothing, and Acchan sounds great, even with the falsettos.

Rating: 3/5

5. la Brea Ave: The Bside of the Act 3 version is actually my favorite song of the single. It’s a bit more upbeat, but they get it right this time xD Acchan’s vocals sound very nice, and the rockish instrumental and guitar riffs are quite nice! I can totally imagine her singing this live with a band! Definitely a great song, and one of the best *48 songs in a while.

Rating: 5/5

6. Brunch wa Blueberry: The song that comes with the Theater Version of the single. With this one we get a synth-y intro, and a laid back song with a bit of a reggae-ish feeling to it (lol it’s totally not, but I don’t know how else to describe it). It’s refreshing to hear it because it’s different to the other songs. My problem with it is that I hear a lot of synths everywhere, and I’m not too fond of that.

Rating: 3/5

Overall rating: 3.6

Acchan’s debut single is just what it should be, a collection of sweet songs to match her gentle character. The songs are very well done, and beautifully arranged for the most part.

Her vocals have improved greatly, but she still has a long way to go, and it also applies to her live performances, where she has often looked a bit shy or scared, I’m sure she’ll get there in time, and especially with the support of all the other girls, who love her a lot and the support of the fans as well 🙂 I can only foresee great things in the future for Acchan and I definitely want to see where is she going to go next.

The extra DVD contents of the single deserve a special mention, because they included a 30 minutes long making of the Flower video (which I didn’t watch, not gonna lie. I just wasn’t that interested in the video, and I only have limited time, so yeah), a cut from the photoshoot where she picks some clothes (none of them are of my liking, but Acchan looks beautiful as always, and she’s a pro when it comes to posing <3) and an extra mini documentary about Acchan’s story within AKB, which I found interesting because we finally get to see the rumored footage from the A2 finale, where they asked the girls to express what was frustrating to them or what bothered them about the stage, and we can see Maeda really breaking down and crying because of the pressure of being almost a soloist in Nagisa no Cherry. I had wanted to see that so that bit piqued my interest.

The rest of the documentary is the same story we’ve all heard a million times: She’s just a normal girl, she didn’t choose to be the center, but she was still presented with that position, doing her best at it even though she has many antis (I was a bit shocked to see the footage of the first election when they call second place and a lot of people are screaming “MAEDA MAEDA” while she’s sitting right there. Wow. Harsh.)

Personally, I don’t think I’ll be following Acchan’s solo career closely or anything. I’m not the biggest ballad fan, and while they are beautiful and fit her style perfectly, they’re just not my cup of tea.



Election Time!!


Ok people, so here are the results of the election!

fujiereina

40. Fujie Reina – Team K (4698) -7 : I’m glad she made it! I was afraid she wouldn’t since she was last in the preliminary count. Reinyan is a sweetie, and it’s saddening to see her lose ground to the fresh blood, but at least she can keep a spot in UG so I’m glad 😀 Big drop though ;_;

ichikawamiori

39. Ichikawa Miori – Team 4 (4928) NEW: Does this mean that she’s a step closer to becoming a Fresh Lemon? xD I’m surprised Miorin isn’t higher, her moe appeal is amazing and fans love her because she’s like a real life chibi. She wasn’t in the preliminary count, so it’s good that she climbed up!

matsuisakiko

38. Matsui Sakiko – Team K (5020) NEW: Sakippe made it! Wow! 😀 I’m really glad because she’s really a different type of idol, in the sense that she’s a very classy girl, not a hyper loli! I’m sure she’ll be a great addition to UG and I’m just thrilled that people like her, really <3

maedaami

37. Maeda Ami – Team A (5220) NEW: Good for Ami, who despite getting a big management push never managed to rank in the previous elections.

sudaakari

36. Suda Akari – SKE Team S (5343) NEW: I don’t know who she is xD I swear I keep confusing Akari, Yuria and Kato Rumi, they all look the same to me. Congrats regardless.

obamina

35. Oba Mina – Team 4 (5411) NEW: Minarun for Team 4 center!!! She is super talented and has a hilarious personality so I’m glad she got this position! What surprises me is that she isn’t higher than this, but it’s understandable because the competition was hard this year!

satosumire

34. Sato Sumire – Team B (5438) -3: So Suuchan made it! I thought she’d be much higher considering how she was senbatsu for Katyusha and all, but her position is still good nonetheless.

hatasawako

33. Hata Sawako – SKE Team KII (6177) NEW: I don’t follow SKE, but I know her because she’s so strange and funny 🙂 I’m glad people dare to vote for girls who aren’t exactly stereotypical idols!

komorimika

32. Komori Mika – Team B (6120) -2: Komorin makes it too! She’s been pushed as one of Team B’s frontgirls so I really expected her to be ranked. But as usual, it’s harder to move up :/

nitomoeno

31. Nito Moeno – Team K (6288) -2: YAY I’M SO RELIEVED! I love Moeno so it broke my heart to not see her anywhere in the preliminary announcements! I’m glad that the fans managed to come through in the end, and even if she dropped a couple positions, she still got a ton of votes, so I’m super happy!

oyamasana

30. Oya Masana – SKE Team S (6660) -6: I’ve never quite understood why is she so popular, sorry! I guess it’s because she’s a feminine sweet idol? I don’t know. Her speech was about how she didn’t think her name would be called but the fans made her feel confident. That’s sweet <3

oyashizuka

29. Oya Shizuka – Team A (7264) NEW: YAY Shiichan!!! She was so crushed that she didn’t make it last year! She is known in AKB for having been a KKS for the longest time, so she’s definitely a hard worker! Good for her! And during her speech she did funny rapper poses and all 😀

yamamotosayaka

28. Yamamoto Sayaka – NMB Team N (8697) NEW: Wow. Team N’s captain makes it and in a really good position for a newcomer! I don’t plan on following NMB at all, but congratulations to her!

miyazaki

27. Miyazaki Miho – Team B (9271) -6: Big drop for Myao from senbatsu to UG. It was expected though, since she had been kicked out of senbatsu already by the time Beginner appeared. It’s kinda sad tbh ;_; I’m still not used to not seeing the over the top Myao everywhere like I did for a while…

hirajimanatsumi

26. Hirajima Natsumi – Team B (9742) =: Wah! Go Nacchan! The invisible original member ;_; Nacchan is amazing and more people need to notice! Warota’s captain manages to hold on to her position at 26 for the third consecutive year! Good job Nacchan! <3

otaaika

25. Ota Aika – Team A (9910) -3: Lovetan drops a little, but not much. She’s not center of UG anymore… Somehow I feel like this year hasn’t been good for nonsenbatsu Team A members (they don’t have many theater performances) and for Warota, that hasn’t released a single since Valentine Kiss, which was a cover. Still, she managed to grab a spot in Katyusha, so I thought she had a shot at senbatsu…

nakagawa

24. Nakagawa Haruka – Team A (10854) -4: Well, let’s be honest, she didn’t have much of a chance of staying in senbatsu, especially with the little promotion she got this year. I’m surprised she ranked above Lovetan tbh, but I’m glad because I like Harugon more haha. She’s so energetic and mischievous!

takayanagiakane

23. Takayanagi Akane – SKE KII (11674) +12: Whoa HUGE RISE! Churi is absolutely adorable, and everyone loves her, so it’s no secret that she would rank high. I honestly thought she would be senbatsu! What made everything even more awesome was that in her speech she told Akimoto to give KII an original stage, since they haven’t performed one ever since they debuted like well over a year ago!

umedaayaka

22. Umeda Ayaka – Team K (11860) +10: Another enormous jump for Umechan! And I’m so happy! She’s super cool and I think DiVA helped her get a lot of recognition which she deserves entirely! I’m also hoping that since she’s UG center we will get a sexy/sultry song!

SENBATSU

kuramochiasuka

21. Kuramochi Asuka – Team A (12387) +2: Yay! Asuka is back in senbatsu!!! So happy! French Kiss doing great was probably a great push for her.

masudayuka

20. Masuda Yuka – Team B (14137) +5: I never thought I’d see the day ;_; The best singer in AKB (IMO) finally reaches senbatsu! I’m too excited about this ;_; Shame that she probably won’t get a lot of screentime because she’s in lower senbatsu, but imagine this! She hadn’t been in it since BINGO a bazillion years ago! DiVA really payed off, and I’m glad that even by a little, talent means something in AKB.

yokoyamayui

19. Yokoyama Yui – Team K (16455) NEW: BAWWWWWW MY BABY MAKES IT TO SENBATSU!!! I CAN’T EVEN YOU PEOPLE! I’M SO HAPPY AND SO RELIEVED! And haters can suck it! Seriously! On top of all that, she was awesome and started panicking, and couldn’t even walk or talk, my poor baby was dying up there ;_; somehow, a rumor spread that what she did on stage was a joke, but OMG after looking at the footage it’s impossible that she was pulling a prank! She was literally shaking and crying so much that she couldn’t even stand up ;_; and all she talked about was how she was super thankful to everyone, and apologizing to the fans for being a crying mess <3 HOW AMAZING I CAN’T BELIEVE HER AWESOMENESS <3 I almost died when I watched this. I love this girl, gosh. She’s so emotional! I mean, you can obviously see that her love for AKB is completely real, she’s living her dream right now! Thank you to everyone who voted for her! Keep aiming for the stars baby <3

satoamina

18. Sato Amina – Team B (16574) =: Even though the management keeps ignoring her like nobody’s business, Amina manages to snatch a spot in senbatsu once again! And not only that, but she manages to keep her spot from last year! <3 I hope this means more opportunities for her this year as well :3

akimotosayaka

17. Akimoto Sayaka – Team K (17154) =: CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN! So happy <3 even with all that she’s been through this year, Sayaka manages to make it to senbatsu and keep her position! I hope this also teaches the management a thing or two about senbatsu in other singles (lol wishful thinking)

kasaitomomi

16. Kasai Tomomi – Team B (22857) -4: NOOOO! Why ;_; Chiyuu ;_; Why did they have to put her in Team B? FML *facepalm* Well, congratulations HoriPro, you’re the most useless agency ever which caused Chiyuu to fall out of media senbatsu probably into oblivion soon. Are you happy? FU. I’m so mad at this, I love Tomo, she’s adorable, hard working, super sweet and very entertaining to watch. Not to mention that she’s like a sexy kitten :3 too bad HoriPro sucks >:(

minegishiminami

15. Minegishi Minami – Team K (26070) -1: I really thought Miichan would rise, not fall! This is crazy you guys! CRAAAAZY! Oh well, she’s still in senbatsu, and that’s what matters 🙂 Although one does wonder why all the promotion she got this year didn’t work that much…

matsuijurina

14. Matsui Jurina – SKE Team S (27804) -4: Well, I would be lying if I said I didn’t expect this to happen, you know. Rena has been way more popular than her for a long long time now, so it was only natural. That said, Jurina out of media senbatsu? What will Aki-P do with his life now???

kitahararie

13. Kitahara Rie – Team B (27957) +3: O_O wow Kitarie rose a lot! I’m sure that Not yet helped her a ton, since that got a lot of promotion on TV and also pretty high sales! I didn’t think she’d rank this high to be honest, but I’m glad she did, because she’s amazing *___*

takajoaki

12. Takajo Aki – Team A (31009) +1: YESSS! My baby Akicha is in media senbatsu!!! 😀 I’m so happy! She’s another one I thought would drop, but obviously that was just me being stupid because she’s incredibly pretty, strange and French Kiss has done really well in the charts, so there you go. Good job baby!

miyazawasae

11. Miyazawa Sae – Team K (33500) -2: Sae’s speech about how even though she got a higher rank last year it was a sad year for her (I guess because of Sayaka’s scandal ;_;) but this year she’s happy and will do her best *___* I didn’t want Sae to fall, tbh. Her ikemen character is a breath of fresh air in the senbatsu full of girly girls, lolis and stuff…

matsuirena

10. Matsui Rena – SKE Team S (36929) +1: Yay Rena! She’s such a sweetheart <3 Also glad that she’s getting a position she deserves because of her popularity which is huge (now please get SKE off of senbatsu elections next year and give them their own. NMB can join those too :awesomeface:). I’m really immature but I lol’d at her speech (taken from Stage48) “I couldn’t even imagine this when I joined SKE, I finally overcame that huge wall” AND THAT HUGE WALL IS JURINA! trololol

sashihararino

9. Sashihara Rino – Team A (45277) +10: Hi there huge jump! haha this has really been Sasshi’s year, she got her blog through which she has promoted herself like crazy and also displayed her very unique and funny personality. She also got her own TV show, and became a regular senbatsu member, not to mention Not yet! Deifnitely a great year for her, haters gonna hate etc. It’s kind of sad that she’s still so negative (her speech was about how she can’t sing or dance well and the only thing she’s proud of is her vote count) but I’m sure she’s trying her best to pull through! Congratulations!

itanotomomi

8. Itano Tomomi – Team K (50403) -4: Holy macaroni O_O Wtf is this? I didn’t expect Tomochin to drop out of Sukahira 7 at all! Especially after all the promotion she’s gotten this year with her solo debut, and having a huge part in Majisuka Gakuen two, and basically being center of Team K (sometimes overshadowing Yuko in the process, like in SakuKi’s cover) she’s AKB’s fashion leader, always in new magazine covers and stuff. I suppose what might’ve happened is that most of her fans are normal people, as in, casual fans who didn’t care to vote… Maybe that’s why? Anyway, poor Tomochin ;_;

takahashiminami

7. Takahashi Minami – Team A (52790) -1: Takamina keeps dropping ;_; I feel sad because she works so hard for AKB and she’s like the unofficial leader, and is always cheering the girls up and being responsible and motherlike (well, more like fatherlike in her own words hehe) yet she keeps dropping ranks ;_; If Takamina ever dropped out of Sukahira 7 it’d make no sense anymore, and Akimoto himself acknowledges it, he said that if people voted for Takamina, they voted for AKB. Obviously people chose to vote for their oshis instead, but Takamina handled it like a pro and managed to stay strong and promise to keep looking after all the members!

kojimaharuna

6. Kojima Haruna – Team A (52920) +1: Suprised to see Haruna rise so much! 😮 I wonder if the KojiYuu antics and her amazing PB helped her out? Still great to see no3b doing well!

watanabemayu

5. Watanabe Mayu – Team B (59118) =: Mayuyu kept her position, I expected her to rise tbh, considering how successful her PB was and how she’s the ace of Team B and Warota, but it was pretty difficult competition, so huh. Poor Mayuyu. I remember seeing her part of the documentary where she was asked about the elections and you could see how anxious she got just at the mention of the topic, and she said she aimed for like number 4 or something this year, yet she kept her rank from last year. The good news is that unlike her speech last year that shook everyone up, this time she was apparently quite happy and thankful and just very mature about the whole thing. Good to know!

shinodamariko

4. Shinoda Mariko – Team A (60539) -1: Mariko loses her third spot. What the hell was that about? tbh I don’t get where does Mariko get all this fans from xD (not hating on her, I know she’s amazing, but she’s absent from a ton of AKB stuff and aren’t casual fans supposed to not care about voting?) but well, good for her!

kashiwagiyuki

3. Kashiwagi Yuki – Team B (74252) +5: HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER. I didn’t see this coming at all O_O I never thought I’d see the day when a B member other than Mayuyu cracked the top 3, or that anybody could get more votes than Mayuyu tbh. Wow. Yukirin is getting a TON of hate for this, but she’s worked very hard this year, becoming a reliable captain for her team even though she isn’t completely fit for the role personality wise, stepping it up in acting with her emo kid role in Sakura kara no Tegami, on top of that, she has fronted the very successful French Kiss unit, including solo songs in every release that showcase her vocals. So yeah, it’s been a good year for her and this rounds it up nicely.

oshimayuko

2. Oshima Yuko – Team K (122843) -1: *sigh* I knew this would happen, there was no doubt in my mind. I still adore this girl with all of my heart, and I don’t care what people say, I think she was amazing as center if only for just Heavy Rotation and her professionalism and eloquence helped AKB a ton promotion wise everywhere. She’s a fantastic performer, and an amazing human being, and she does all of that while staying true to herself. Hopefully this year they will give her more acting roles so her acting career can take off. I’m just happy that all of these people have acknowledged that Yuko is amazing and voted for her. Even Atsuko herself told her “I don’t think I’m better than you in even one thing” which means that Acchan is a humble sweetheart but also that Yuko is well liked and respected by her co-workers, which is amazing. I have no words. Except I’m off to buy 3 more copies of HebiRote :awesomeface:

maedaatsuko

1. Maeda Atsuko – Team A (139892) +1: Yawn? Well, I saw it coming from a mile.  I’ll probably get flamed for this, but this is my blog so I can state my opinion :p I love Acchan, I’ve written praise posts for her all over the internet, she’s a sweetheart and a super hard worker, BUT I didn’t want her to win because I wish AKB could shake things up a bit more :/ This year is turning out so dull to me because AKB keeps rehashing all of their past year concepts and then Acchan will be center all the time, everytime. I want someone else to be center just to give things a different flavor, you know? It doesn’t have to be Yuko (but Yui :trollface:), just, you know, some variety, people. We already have all the songs sounding the same, do we really need all the line ups to look the same? So yeah, it’s NOTHING against Acchan, she’s a doll <3

That said, the management (or her agency, I dunno, but someone) was SUPER eager to make Acchan win the elections (NOT saying that Acchan isn’t crazy popular btw, just saying that she got to be the cover of like 10 magazines at the same time for promotion, lead role in Moshidora, Lead role in Q10, lead role in new HanaKimi drama, lead role in Sakura kara no tegami and Majisuka 2 (well, sorta lol) and solo debut. While Yuko got Not yet. Period.)

I understand this (kinda) from a business standpoint because playing up the rivalry between Acchan and Yuko makes for great press and people buying more CDs to support either of them, however, I’m jaded from this election stuff and I wish it didn’t happen anymore ;A; I wonder if the AKB hype will last enough to guarantee elections next year… I know for sure that I’m not staying up for this ever again, I was pissed off all day because I didn’t get enough sleep lol

Oh, and before I forget, here comes the thing that really bothered me about the elections: Some people claiming that only Acchan deserves to be center. I mean, I can understand if Acchan is your favorite, but why be so petty and make comments like “Yuko’s win was invalid trololol” and the such? Everyone works hard in AKB, and I wouldn’t doubt Acchan’s merits for a second, but, you know, have a little respect for the other members?

So yeah, there you have it.


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