Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ponytail to Shushu and Heavy Rotation

This post is a continuation of the AKB48 Discography post (here's the first post: http://filipinoakbfan.blogspot.com/2010/01/akb48-discography-actually-just-list-of.html)

18. Ponytail to Shushu
( ポニーテールとシュシュ)
Ponytail to Shushu continues the successful streak of AKB by being their first single to sell over half a million copies within the first week of its release, of course ranking #1 again in the Oricon charts. "Ponytail and Scrunchie" is an upbeat love song, whose PV was shot in Guam, where only for the second time in AKB's career, the Senbatsus don bathing suits. 

The second track, Nusumareta Kuchibiru ("Stolen Kiss") features another batch of AKB Undergirls, and is a slower-paced love song.

Continuing what they started in Sakura no Shiori, both versions again contained different third tracks.

Version A of the single contained Boku no Yell ("My Yell" or "My Cheer"), another of AKB's encouraging songs, this time containing AKB Theater Girls. The PV is soccer-themed, and prominently centers Haruka Nakagawa for the first time in her career. Fittingly so since Harugon is one of AKB's sportier girls in real lifeThis track is my favorite in this single and its PV is one of favorites from AKB.

Version B contained the track Majijo Teppen Blues, featuring the cast of AKB's finished TV drama, Majisuka Gakuen. The song is a rock riff containing quotes from the show, and the PV contains scenes fans would have wanted to see in the series.

The single contained off-vocal versions of its tracks, and was released May 26, 2010. It also had the biggest first week sales for a female artist since Utada Hikaru's "Can You Keep a Secret", released in 2001.

Ponytail to Shushu

The PV contains a sexy-comedic opening featuring a funny, pervy dog, as some fans like to refer to him.

I believe this is the first time they adapted a move from a PV to alter dance steps.

 Although they didn't totally eliminate this step (bursting star effect thingamajig)...

...they replaced most of it with this one (conductor hand thingamajig). You'll notice that they never do this step during the dance shots on the PV, and if I am not mistaken, they don't perform this step in their earliest performances of the song, only later, such as with AKBingo! If what I observed is correct, it was a good alteration, proving AKB can make modifications midway when necessary.

Nusumareta Kuchibiru

The PV contains a lot of beautiful shots

The lyrics contain a description of the feelings of the girl after a stolen kiss from a guy she likes, and the PV contains depictions of this scene where the girl is talking, then the camera focuses on the girl's lips, signifying the guy going in for the kiss, and the girls' cute reactions after the kiss.

Boku no Yell

Majijo Teppen Blues

19. Heavy Rotation
Ranking #1 again within the Oricon charts, Heavy Rotation is the second single for AKB to sell over half a million copies within the first week of its release, aligning AKB48 with no less than Ayumi Hamasaki and Utada Hikaru as the first three female artists to sell over half a million copies within the first week of its release for two consecutive singles.

For the second time after Iwake Maybe, the Senbatsus for Heavy Rotation were chosen via fan votes, and for the first time in her career, Yuko Oshima centers an AKB single as a result of the votes.

Heavy Rotation is a fun, upbeat love song, where the title "Heavy Rotation" is descriptive of an old vinyl record playing nonstop. 

The PV is maligned by some eventhough it is the first PV showing some of the members in lingerie, although the clothes themselves are no more revealing than swimsuits many entertainers wear. Many misinformedly claim that in this PV, underage girls should not be appearing in lingerie, where in fact, within the lingerie scenes, only the top ten Senbatsus were in lingerie, and among them, only Mayu Watanabe was underage, at 16, and what Mayuyu was wearing wasn't even lingerie, as I liken it to something a ballerina would wear. The lingerie scene was only one of three kinds of scenes in the PV, the other one being the one with the dance routines in the Heavy Rotation outfits with the mic stands, and the third being the one with cat suits, which I found had the funniest, most adorable scenes, eventhough the lingerie scenes had plenty of cute and funny scenes also. The kiss scenes were also by close friends, not much different as when two close female friends would kiss, although I could understand why the typical person would still find this hot. 

The fact that Ponytail to Shushu and Heavy Rotation hit #1 has also been used to malign AKB and its fans, saying this is how they became #1 (by wearing swimsuits and lingerie) when in fact, it was River that hit #1 first and Sakura no Shiori that hit #1 second, where they wore fullbody camouflage suits and fullbody kimonos respectively, and neither of which were love songs.

The second track is performed by AKB Undergirls, this time the girls who ranked #22 to #39 in the 2nd Senbatsu elections, centered by #22 Aika Oota. Namida no Seesaw Game (Seesaw of Tears Game) is a love song that is a throwback to hip music from a few decades ago, something also featured prominently in its funny and enjoyable PV. This is my favorite track of this single and has one of my favorite PV's in AKB.

Again, two versions of the single contained different third tracks, both of which were used for advertisements.

Version A contained Yasai Sisters (Vegetable Sisters), a theme song for a vegetable juice drink, and is one of the cutest children's song AKB has had since Honehone Waltz and Akkanbe Bashi, accompanied with a cute, kiddie PV where the girls dress up in various veggies.

Version B contained Lucky Seven, a theme song for a retail chain store, another of AKB's encouraging songs, where this time the girls dress up as pirates.

The singles contained off-vocal versions of its tracks and was released August 18, 2010.

Heavy Rotation

Namida no Seesaw Game

Yasai Sisters

Lucky Seven