Thursday, January 7, 2010

AKB48 Discography (Actually, just a list of their singles)

For lyrics and translations, you can go here:
For videos, try searching them at

1. Sakura no Hanabiratachi 

Performed by the original members of AKB48 (now referred to as Team A), this, their first single, surprised many by ranking #10 on the Oricon charts, impressive for a debuting group in an independent label.

The song is a graduation song, and the title can be translated as "Cherry Blossom Petals". The song is rerecorded and rereleased two years later at their first major label.

The single also includes "Dear My Teacher", the naughty AKB classic, along with their karaoke versions. Date released: February 1, 2006. The PV shows the girls performing the song at the Akihabara theater, along with several behind the scenes footage, such as the girls rehearsing and recording (screen caps below).

CinDy, as part of the original AKB48

Nacchan (middle), also part of the original team, with Acchan and Takamina

Tomochin, at age 14

2. Skirt, Hirari

Tranlated as Skirt Flutters, it's sort of a love song, delving into the frivolousness of youth particularly with matters of love (or something like that). The performace is popular for, well, the fluttering skirts, among many other kawaii (cute) dance steps.

Originally permormed by Haruna Kojima, Risa Narita, Atsuko Maeda, Minami Takahashi, Tomomi Itano, Mai Oshima, and Rina Nakanishi, the other members of the original AKB48 (later Team A) can be seen dancing with them in the background of the PV (as you can see from screenshots below).

The second track is a nice, mellow, goodbye song, Aozora Soba ni Ite (青空のそばにいて); it has been used during graduations of some members (title translation: Being Next to the Blue Sky). Again, the single contained karaoke versions of both songs.

Released June 7, 2006.

3. Aitakatta


Translated as "I Wanted to See You", this AKB classic is their first at a major label, Defstar, and where they actually start counting their records (they count this as their first, which is why RIVER is 14th, although it's 16th when you count the two indies singles). The lively song's PV stars Maeda Atsuko for the first time and for the first time included members from Team K. This song is perhaps the song most often attached with AKB. 

Released on October 25, 2006, the second track is Dakedo... (だけど… [However...]), a love song whose lyrics is a continuation of the PV of Aitakatta. The first time I listened to Dakedo... in full, I fell in love with the song. It's so beautiful it makes me want to cry. From the slow and sweet music, to it's heartwrenching lyrics, this song is one of my favorites from AKB. 

Acchan centers her first PV, at age 15

From left to right: Erena Ono (age 12), Rina Nakanishi (age 18), Minami Minegishi (age 13)

4. Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru


For me, their most sensual song, this serious track's title can be translated as "My School Uniform is in the Way".

Very young looking A and K members on the screencaps of the PV below.

Released on January 31, 2007, it's second track is "Virgin Love", a faster paced song, and the single contains instrumental versions of both tracks as usual.

5. Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou


A serious song, "Scorned Love" deals with bullying, a serious problem in Japan.

Relatively heavy imagery in their PV.

Released April 18, 2007, the second track "Namida Uri no Shoujo" (涙売りの少女 [Tear-seller Girl]) has another cool and serious performance.


One of my favorites, BINGO! is the first to use members of Team B in both the recording and the PV. The song is fun, the lyrics are great, and so is the PV. Bingo's PV is also the first to have a side story that has nothing to do with the song. But it was cool!

The second track is another fun, positive, love song (with another English title), Only Today. The lyrics involve what could have been a love triangle, but instead is taken on a happy note. The single contains instrumentals of both songs, and was released on July 18, 2007.

7. Boku no Taiyou

Another warm love song, "My Sun" featured members of A, K, and only Mayu Watanabe representing B, marking the first time a team was represented by only one member. 

The second track, Mirai no Kajitsu (未来の果実 [Fruit of the Future]) is another one of their encouraging songs. This single that also contains instrumentals of both songs was released on August 2, 2007.

Mayuyu, sole representation of Team B

8. Yuuhi wo Miteiruka?

A very positive, encouraging song,  "Are You Watching the Setting Sun?" has a number of versions (my favorite being the one performed at JCB, December 2008). The PV contained the least number of members for a cover song, featuring only ten of their most popular members (although Skirt, Hirari has seven performers, the rest of the team were also in the PV dancing).

The single was released on October 31, 2007, and contained the second track Viva Hurricane!, a fun, fast paced love song.

9. Romance, Irane

"I Don't Need Romance" is a fun, upbeat song about how shallow romance is dumb and unnecessary, and bursting away from such temptation. I love the lyrics to this one, and the dance steps too. The PV was overly simple, focusing on the fun dance steps, with the humor of Nonti and Nacchi on the side.

The second track, Ai no Moufu (愛の毛布 [Blanket of Love]), is an encouraging song that actually provides a better resource for love than the shallow kind of romance described in the first track. The single was released on January 23, 2008, and contained instrumentals of both tracks.

10. Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008

(桜の花びらたち 2008)

Their hit song from their independent single is rereleased at their major label, this time rerecorded with the new members. Although you can hardly see any of the Team B members in the PV, some of them were part of the recording of this song. The graduation song is partnered with an interesting PV.

The second track this time is Saigo no Seifuku (最後の制服 [My Last School Uniform]), another mellow graduation song, and the single, released February 27, 2008, also contained instrumentals of both songs.

Hey, look, I found Team B!

11. Baby! Baby! Baby!

A fun, upbeat love song, Baby! Baby! Baby! was the first PV to feature the girls in swimsuits. The single itself was a download exclusive but could only be purchased in Japan.

Another track in this single is Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikanai (夢を死なせるわけにいかない [Let Us Not Let Our Dreams Die]); a more serious, inspirational song. The single also includes a second version of Baby! Baby! Baby! and was released June 13, 2008.

12. Oogoe Diamond

"Diamond Shout" is a fast-paced, really fun love song. It was the first single to feature a member of SKE48, which then was newly formed, and the first to have a lone member on the single's cover, the same person, the unbelievably only 11-year old Jurina Matsui. She was also featured prominently on the video, sharing the center with front girl Atsuko Maeda. The story on the PV, though really fun to watch, had nothing to do with the lyrics (other PV's don't really have a story though). Then popular research student Aki Takajo is also featured on the PV, apparently playing the role of the stage manager, while other members not in the recording could be seen on the PV as part of the audience. The PV also features the girls protesting to being called Akihabara48 (called by Akicha as stage manager); in response they said they are AKB48.

This is their first single at their second major record label, King Records, which sold more than double their highest selling single that time.

The single was released on October 22, 2008, and contained the second track 109 (Marukyuu) (109 (マルキュー)), another love song, and two more versions of Oogoe Diamond, one sung by Team A, the last sung by Team B.

First Kenkyuusei to appear in an AKB PV while still a Kenkyuusei, Aki Takajo appears even several weeks  before her surprise promotion

11-year old Jurina Matsui

13. Junen Zakura

"10 Year Cherry Blossoms" is an upbeat, fun, goodbye song, about friends about to part who promise to meet again 10 years at the very same spot. The PV is a tear-jerker, especially if you only view the two-minute version debuted in AKBingo.

This was the first single for them to sell over 100,000 copies. The second track, Sakurairo no Sora no Shitade (桜色の空の下で [Beneath the Cherry-Blossom-Colored Sky]) is another graduation/goodbye/love song that is cool and slow. Instrumental versions, this time called off-vocal versions, of both songs are also in the single, which was released March 4, 2009.

14. Namida Surprise!


"Surprise Tears!" is a lively birthday song which, to the surprise of fans, for the first time, included a research student, Mika Komori, not just in the PV, but also in the recording.

Apart from the off-vocal version of Namida Surprise!, "Shounichi" (初日 [Opening Day]), which was voted by fans as the number one performance of AKB during the January 2009 Best 100 at Shibuya AX, is also included in the single. The Team B song is an upbeat, encouraging song about reaching the dreams you worked hard for. Also included is "First Love", a beautiful solo by Erena Ono (of Team K), which was the theme song of an anime. The single was released on June 24, 2009, and continued the string started by Junen Zakura by selling over 100,000 copies.

First Kenkyuusei to be chosen to take part of a recording, even months before her surprise promotion, Mika Komori

15. Iiwake Maybe


For the first time, fans were given the chance to vote for which members would record the next single and would appear on its PV, resulting in the top 21 members recording "My Excuse is Maybe", another fun, upbeat love song, whose PV has been my favorite of theirs, and one of my favorites overall, although again, the story had nothing to do with the song.

The single included Tobenai Agehachou (飛べないアゲハチョウ [Swallowtail Butterfly that Cannot Fly]), recorded by the girls ranked 22 to 30, the nine girls being called the Undergirls. This would be the first non-cover song to have its own PV. The song is a love song that to me is both upbeat and mellow, with cool lyrics. The PV was sexy in its seriousness and the focus on the girls' nonsmiling faces was awesome. The dance steps were cool too. The song is cool, the PV is cool... this was cool. I have serious difficulty deciding which of AKB's PV's is the sexiest, the obviously sensuous Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru, or the very sexy Tobenai Agehachou. This Undergirl card is a winner. And all without the top 21 front girls!

The single, released August 26, 2009, also included off-vocal versions of those two tracks. Like the previous two, this also sold over 100,000 copies.

One of my favorite PV's overall, Iiwake Maybe

PV for the second track, Tobenai Agehachou


For the first time, debuting #1 on the weekly Oricon charts, RIVER would sell around 200,000 copies. An encouraging song (the river representing obstacles in your life) that was quite rockin', the PV had a military theme, and for the first time, the girls were divided into their new teams (new Team A: crossing the river, new Team K: ground force, new Team B: airforce... Jurina had to be left out since she was SKE although there were lots of focuses on her on the main dance routine anyway). River is the type of song even non-hardcore AKB fans could easily appreciate not only for its lyrics, but its rockin' upbeat tune.

The single contained the second track, "Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara" (君のことが好きだから [Because I Love You]), an upbeat love song about happily admiring from a crowd even if your beloved doesn't even notice you. (Seems more like a song their fans could sing about them.) The girls who recorded these were also referred to as Undergirls, and were girls who are quite popular but less popular than the 16 that performed River. Notably, none of the SDN48 girls were included, but many research students were, making this Undergirl group very noticeably young. The PV is just the cute girls being cute, having fun, so it was a cute video; and the song was nice and cute too.

For the first time, the third track, Hikuokigumo (ひこうき雲 [Vapor Trail]) had its own PV in the DVD, although it was just the girls performing in their Akihabara theater with better cameras, better angles and better lighting. The girls who performed here were called the Theater Girls, and was composed of many of the other popular girls who didn't perform in River nor Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara. Notably missing were still any members of SDN. Like Shounichi, Hikuokigumo is a song that the girls have been performing for months now, and although some fans don't like what seems to be recycling, I like the idea of actually adding these old songs in their new singles as additional tracks, especially if it will come with a special PV of its own. (Why stop with one, add in a whole bunch of them.) The song itself is actually a sad love song set to a very lively beat. Fans love this as they get to interact by waving their own handkerchiefs or whatever along with the girls performing.

Apart from off-vocal versions of the first two songs, the DVD also includes clips of the 16 girls of River saying various stuff to you as if you were really there. Aki-P and the AKB management are clever marketing gurus indeed. The single was released October 21, 2009.

River PV: New Team A

New Team B

New Team K

Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara

Hikuokigumo PV

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