Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Order Sakura no Shiori!

We were preordering Sakura no Shiori on a website over a week ago when I was surprised to find out that one of the types was already sold out! I didn't even know this was possible! One of the two types of Sakura no Shiori was sold out on a website one month even before it gets released! We moved to another site where they were both available.

The song Sakura no Shiori has gotten bad reception from a lot of AKB fans so far, but personally, I still preordered it, regardless. When I first heard that the 17th single will be another graduation song, I was like, "Another one?" When I found out it had "Sakura" on the title again, I was like, "Again?" I guess Aki-P is quite fond of graduation songs and Sakuras and love to capitalize on graduation seasons. Why not, Sakura no Hanabiratachi was very good to them. Sakura no Shiori is a bit too choir-y, so I guess Aki-P is really targeting a song that graduates can actually sing on an event. Personally, I'm not quite fond of the song Sakura no Shiori either, but there are two other tracks that are better, not to forget to mention the videos on the DVD.

The second track is Majisuka Rock 'n Roll, the theme song for their cool, new, ongoing TV drama, Majisuka Gakuen. I like it so far and would like to hear the full version.

There will also be a third track, and that's where the two types come in. Type A contains Enkyori Poster, while Type B contains Choose Me! as the third track. Enkyori Poster is performed by Team PB (Team Playboy, composed of Yuki Kashiwagi, Sae Miyazawa, Miho Miyazaki, Aika Oota, Moeno Nito, Aki Takajo, and Ami Maeda) while Choose Me! is performed by Team YJ (Team Young Jump, composed of Tomomi Kasai, Rie Kitahara, Haruka Nakagawa, Minami Minegishi, Rino Sashihara, Asuka Kuramochi, and Ayaka Kikuchi). Playboy and Young Jump are weekly magazines in Japan. (I don't know if Japan's Playboy has any relationship with the Playboy of U.S., Japan's Playboy does not contain nudity [that I know of], and is tamer than the Philippines' FHM. It's possible that it's different if that existed before Japan ever heard of US' Playboy, so much like the Philippine brand Polo, it wouldn't be a trademark violation even if Ralph Lauren's Polo was more popular since the Philippines never heard of it before.)

Team YJ and Team PB are already featured in their respective magazines, and would be competing in terms of sales of the new single. Whoever's type sells more will be featured in both magazines. There was a report released by AKB management that stated Team PB's Enkyori Poster is leading, with over 23,000 preorders, while Team YJ's Choose Me! has over 19,000 preorders. This is one month even before the single is released!

Although Sakura no Shiori has had a lot of negative reception, it's interesting to see that it already has over 40,000 preorders; that's twice as many as any of the singles released during their Defstar days, and that's one month before it's even released. It's possible fans just really like the other tracks, or, just like me, they just wanna support the group regardless of the song. But I'm curious to see if it can continue the string of the previous four singles by selling more than 100,000 copies, or if it can match River's sales of 200,000 copies. Well, it has one month more to take in preorders, apart from those who'll buy it after its release. It should be interesting to see if River sold that well because River was such a great single, or, if Sakura no Shiori matches River, then it's proof that AKB's fanbase is increasing, at a good rate too, especially it's purchasing fanbase. Iiwake Maybe sold only about half as much as its successor, River, but since Iiwake Maybe was voted #1 by fans in the Best 100 2010, it's possible that River sold well also because Iiwake Maybe paved the way for it, and so, even if Sakura no Shiori is not the best single they have released, it's possible that it will sell more successfully than better, previously released AKB singles, because of it's precursors.

Personally, I preordered Type A, the one with Team PB's Enkyori Poster. I agree that there are parts that sound like Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara, but I like Kimi no, and I liked Enkyori Poster enough regardless. I liked Choose Me! too, I just liked Enkyori Poster more. Actually, even before I heard the songs, I already chose Team PB over Team YJ, so when I heard a lot of people liked Choose Me!, I thought I might be disappointed with Team PB's song, and when I heard Team PB's song the first time, I automatically assumed it was Choose Me! because I liked it a lot, but I was wrong, and I was actually listening to Enkyori Poster. I originally chose Team PB over Team YJ because of the girls that composed it, for example, my favorite among the 14 girls involved is Yukirin, and I'm quite fond of many of the other girls in PB as well, but that is not to say I don't like Team YJ, I really, really like many of the girls in Team YJ, for example, I'm really glad that Harugon is getting a push with this one. So, although I preordered Enkyori Poster, I encouraged a friend to preorder Choose Me! instead, so it all evens out.

In conclusion, go buy Sakura no Shiori!

Cover for Type A (with Enkyori Poster), Atsuko Maeda solo

Cover for Type B (with Choose Me!), features Minami Takahashi, Atsuko Maeda and Jurina Matsui

Cover for the exclusive theater version (can only be purchased at their theater), which contains both Enkyori Poster and Choose Me!, but no DVD. (Features Tomomi Itano, Haruna Kojima and Sae Miyazawa on the cover.)

A promo picture, featuring Miho Mayazaki, Tomomi Itano, Atsuko Maeda, Mariko Shinoda, Jurina Matsui, Yuki Kashiwagi, Haruna Kojima, Minami Takahashi, Mayu Watanabe, Yuko Oshima, Sae Miyazawa and Rie Kitahara, presumably, the Senbatsus for Sakura no Shiori. I'm not sure if this is all of them as some usual Senbatsus are missing, like Minami Minegishi, Erena Ono, and Tomomi Kasai.