Firstly, I wasn’t ever sure if I would see the day in which SPEED’s all time record sales for an all girl group would be broken and not by a slim margin by any means as AKB48 has eclipsed this record (reaching in excess of 826,000 copies sold) which has stood for I think…over a decade now?..and if there were any single which was worthy of such an achievement surely “Beginner” is deservingly so~. At the top of the Oricon this past week, AKB48 has also eclipsed omg!!! even Arashi’s~♥ used to be leading single’s sales plateau for the year for a single release :O and from the outside one may wonder why this single in particular?..and why now?
~Jacket scans LE type A & B~
Just a quick pause to say lol I guess Neowing has only one available photo?, either that or I just have the worst luck~* ever as I seem to always receive duplicate first press photos xD! Love it though, both of them (*≧▽≦)！
Hmm….but before anything I must gush~* about the “center” versions which are on both LE’s and if you purchase both you’ll receive “center” pv versions for Yukorin, Mariko, Jurina, Acchan, Tomochin & Takamina~♥.
Please don’t throw tomatoes at me (*>ω<) ！、but um….my most favorite~♥ version is my oshimen Yukorin’s o(*´∀｀)o゛♥。。。and Yukorin looks sooooo sexy* here!!! I mean well everyone does but I’m um
focusing staring at Yukorin and just love~love the dark eye shadow too….she’s so aggressive awesome! Acchan may edge her by a hair in dancing but Yukorin I can’t take my eyes off of ＾ ＾！
AKB48 “Beginner” Oshima Yuko center version
AKB48 “Beginner” ( pv DVD version)
No doubt “Beginner” is a head turner with what may be their fiercest dance choreography to date (surely arguable but I’m thinking in a raw sense and not in a technical one~) and even the song is as aggressive as one may expect and in particular when AkiP’s forte has been much more set in the golden age of 80’s styling, still we’ve heard this style of power from AKB before and yet “Beginner” still surely sets itself apart from its predecessors~.—————>
When my singles first arrived I was puzzled to the wording of “DVD ver.” next to the “Beginner” pv track and it took the clueless me a bit of searching to figure out that there was a digital download for the “original version” and add to that the reason behind this is that this pv was deemed too violent to be included with the single releases :O. Being banned in music land isn’t really a common thing these days it seems as society as it is may have been much too numbed by now by the level of violence in lyrics and on t.v. and yes! especially in video games (sorry gamers but there’s some really questionable stuff out there :O!). But how desensitized are we really? Searching and looking back it seems that album covers are as much of a nuisance to what is deemed appropriate for viewing…..like with Bon Jovi’s “Slipper When Wet”‘s original cover which was well….sexual* to say the least and suggestive and instead we ended up with…….a dark trash bag sprayed with water for this multi~million album seller’s cover? xD and most likely the most famous banned pop~culture music image must be The Beatles “butcher cover”…and going way back then the solution as the singles had already been pressed and published with jackets was to simply paste the new safer cover over the older banned one :O. However, surely with an idol group there’s a much younger audience as well so I’m thinking this was perhaps the main reason for banning the original version but as you watch it AKB’s (original) “Beginner” music video isn’t there merrily for shock value or just to stir a buzz (albeit having a banned pv will do this to a “T”) as you can draw parallels just by hearing the song’s lyrics and how “beginning” anew and breaking the same old chains of life or really any aspect of your life can mean so much in moving forward and not becoming a part of a system (game system)…or what is maybe just “expected” of one? The message of “Beginner” is both positive and powerful x’s a lot while the video game violence appears to be for yes~! initial shock value but more so for drawing this analogy as you see the girls break away from the “system” freeing themselves from unconscious minds~. The middle with Acchan taking her own arm is perhaps the most disturbing and especially when coupled with her screams which resonate away from the music and yet in that single instance the message is profound.
For me this also sparked~* a memorable moment as I was taking my very first baby steps towards loving everything AKB when introduced to the early sub~group “Chocolove” with the recommendation from denadel, and right when everything started as you see my very very first visual of anything AKB was with their pv for “Ashita wa ashita no kimi ga umareru” and this pv in itself holds some very shocking visuals of its own….girls being shot by a gunman and spewing from them it’s ….well you guessed it chocolate :O. In dark contrast the song is as sweet~♥ and catchy as they come in J~Pop so coupled here with those visuals it’s quite a pv!…..well let’s just say that in the end it was all just a bad chocolate~y dream =).
Now for the worthy part and terms of sales like we haven’t seen in years, you see we haven’t even reached that just yet.
And with talk of sales numbers being perhaps “misleading” in some ways perhaps due to the inclusion of handshake event tickets/voting tickets for AKB’s next year fan request top 100 concerts and the such being included with the LE releases (note: other idol groups including H!P have been including event tickets in their singles for years so it’s not like a new ploy to push sales but you have to take your hats off to the ingenuity in which AKB does this versus other idol groups….accessibility and empowering fans with a vote which will see direct results in an upcoming concert……wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to vote in Momusu’s next concert song~list?…and then see it then unfold live in a multiple day concert event =D. How can anyone fault that? really =) ) also what cannot be overlooked is that AKB produces and presents to fans single releases which go way beyond the standard product. With just two single versions (and no pv DVD single) AKB features separate pvs for each song including now both coupling with track extras (for a total of 4 pvs) and I must emphasize that they’re full~blown productions of their A~sides, b~sides and extra coupling with~s. Storyboards brought to life with no chains on time as for example with this single the “extra” pvs for “Boku dake no value” and “Kimi ni tsuite” have running times of 8:37 and 7:02 respectfully as they’re not just music videos and in some cases much more like mini~movies or features~. So with the sales numbers here you can attribute it to not only the excitement and draw of those event/song voting tickets but also I think very much to the quality of just how AKB is being lead and produced and it’s no doubt in a progressive state if you view their sales from single to single leading to now their record breaking numbers.
Plus how can anyone fault an entertainment group for pushing the envelope and making available to fans something more….something touchable….something golden~ly retro……something that gets you excited? And, their songs rock (*´∀｀*) ♪！！
AKB48 (Undergirls) “Boku dake no value”
Yay~! for the Undergirls~♥!! And don’t let the sweet melody fool you as this song is tied into something most ugly……the bullying that has plagued Japan (and other schools everywhere =( ) for so long. I’ll admit after watching this that girls I think can be much more mean~hearted towards one another and it can come along for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s just a product of the many cliques that form inevitably when so many are brought together, other times it’s from jealousy or from relationships, race and gender or sexual preferences….sadly bullying is often kept to oneself =(. It’s really one of the worst things that you can subject anyone to. Wear the “shoes”….reflect first. Bullying should never occur anywhere or to anyone.
Yep~* you probably knew I couldn’t resist at least one shot of A~min~♥ in there っo(*´∀｀)o！、。。and then there’s this….
…Myao~* says that all of those mysterious falling colored spheres/bubblegum drops/painted alien~grapes/miniature balloons….taste just fine! Nice!
AKB48 Mint “Kimi ni tsuite”
Continuing with the single sales~worthy thingy, Mint is the ingenious creation of asking AKB fans to vote for their favorite members to be included in this fantasy~group online while immersed in the interactive fantasy world of Ameba Pigg where the actual members and fans alike can mingle in real time online with one another while embodying the cutest of cutest caricatures =)! Here Acchan takes the center as Mint is set to release their final single but there’s a lot of hidden emotions unknown to Acchan until she peruses the archives of Mint’s blog heading back through time as her fellow members share~* and reminisce the groups’ time together~♥….
..and Kasai~♥ soooooo so cute!!!! Her voice so much like that of a professional seiyuu, here she shines~* =)!
AKB48 DIVA “Nakeru basho”
DIVA I just can’t take my eyes off of Sayaka’s presence here and Mmm…Natsuki~♥ she’s so cute (*´∀｀)！！This pv was shot with road~movie/fan experience aura as the sometimes mundane travelling side of artists which isn’t often seen is expressed all the while on the other side of the fan~base is shown and in particular I was so connected to the very end of this pv as you can see the interaction amongst fans which I imagine is universal in the sense of connecting with others whom just experienced the same and just the euphoria~♥ of it all…….your treasures (goods) to take back home or to the hotel with you….the comraderie the memories for a lifetime ＾ ＾＊。