I realized today that while I’ve featured a lot of different artists and groups on this list, I haven’t focused much on AKB48 and other 48 groups – just SKE48’s Aishiteraburu. I suspect a lot of that is because of how my fan level for AKB48 and its assorted groups has changed over the years. While, in my opinion, the main singles and songs for AKB48 haven’t been quite as good as of late, one of the biggest disappointments is just how little attention is paid to AKB48’s theater. One of the biggest things that drew me to AKB48 as a fan was the concept of the AKB48 theater, where members perform regularly. It’s just so unheard of for Western pop acts, which made AKB feel unique. While there are still regular stage performances, new stages are really rare. It’s understandable – the most expensive tickets at these stage shows are 3100 yen, so it’s not really the most economically viable experience. It’s just a bit disappointing.
The thing is, most of my favorite AKB48 songs originated in the theater. Since you have 15-16 songs, I find that they can be a lot more interesting than what gets performed as singles. While Pioneer isn’t one of the weirder songs performed in the AKB theater, but it has a lot of style and is one of the more fun AKB songs. I’m planning on writing an article about this, but a lot is made about AKB’s slow start – while they’re the most popular idol group in Japan now, at their first performance they only performed for seven people. So even though Pioneer was written and performed when AKB was at its peak, it still has the energy and lyrics of a group trying to prove itself.