[JPOP] AKB and me

the first time i saw AKB48 was 2009 MAMA where they performed their song RIVER via satellite feed from JAPAN to SK.

who is AKB48, btw? according to wikipedia:

“AKB48 is a Japanese female idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto.
AKB48 holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s “largest pop group”.[7][8] Currently, it consists of four teams: Team ATeam K, and Team B with 16 members each and Team 4 with 12 members, summing up to a total of 60 members as of July 24, 2011.[9] Additionally, there are a number of aspiring members, who are called “kenkyūsei” (“trainees”).[4] Each team produces a new own concert show each theatrical season.”
i was rather distant with japanese groups because they are stereotyped cute and squeeaky, 10x more than kpop. or weird. see visual kei.

my first reaction was “WOAH”. i could barely recognize half entire Girls’s Generation with its 9 members and here i find out there actually exist a girl group with more members. i was baffled to say the least. the song was rather catchy, and i liked it. but i guess i’m more of a performance based fan that i found their performance messy and not as polished as Kpop groups.

being the research freak that i was, i googled them and found it all the more confusing coz, i don’t get why a group needs to have 48 members, and the subs units and teams confused the hell out of me. i mean, they are a singing group, how can they distribute a 4-minute song to the members equally, not to mention all these “senbatsu” thingies. i do not understand. not at all.

and then a few months after there came the big news about AKB breaking Musume’s oricon record and stuff. turns out they released a song and it broke records by selling half a million copies of their single on it’s first week. curiosity got the better of me, and clicked on the video . i was mortified. here is a video of girls dancing in bikinis when i know half of them are like teen agers. the inner mother in me surfaced and i just want to cover these girls up. 

their voices never exactly appealed to me, because i couldn’t recognize them. they sounded alike and they were anime-ish squeaky… definitely not my cup of tea. i was looking for the “edge” and not cutesy, cookie cutter “aitakatta”-like song that appeals more to ojiisans and perverted men who just wants a piece of young meat to gawk at.

but then they keep on getting headlines because they keep on breaking their own records. it was until “BEGINNER” that i began to look beyond the nitpicking of what i don’t like about them.

beginner surprised me a lot. it was strong, it wasn’t cute. it was edgy. they were still sporting their school girl uniforms but they have a stronger girl image portrayed with the beat, the voices AND the sharper dance moves. there wasn’t any visual acrobatics that we are used to. just a plain old set with the girls busting their moves. they were performing. To say that i liked beginner a lot is downplaying it. I LOVED BEGINNER. and then SMAPxSMAP had to sing it with them, i was floored. LOL.

like seriously, it only takes one song. and beginner did it for me. i began to warm up to them that watching their previous single “Heavy Rotation” video didn’t bother me. . . 

I LIED. Heavy Rotation bothered me a lot. but i liked the song so i had to find meself other outlets to see AKB48 performing heavy rotation without me getting a headache. thank heavens i found this. 

i still have a long way to go into becoming a true AKB48 fan. i still do not understand the teams, the sub groups, SKE, SDN, senbatsu, undergirls and all that. but right now, i am just enjoying seeing the fierce performances of these girls… even if i don’t know a 4th of them. LOL

and i really had to say that while typing this entry, my playlist consists of Beginner, Everyday Katchusa, Ponytail, River and Heavy Rotation.

and these are my favorite members:

the center girl

and here is Tomomi Itano’s solo song that i like a lot.not the video tho…

oh did i say i absolutely thought Flying Get was a mess? and watching Exile watching AKB performing is discomforting…

credits: as tagged; belongs to their respective owners

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