Above: AKB48's 14th Single, “RIVER”, released in October 2009, perhaps a precursor to "Majisuka Gakuen"?
I had known the name "AKB48" for years now, with only a rudimentary knowledge of what they group concept was about, but hardly the members nor even details besides their performing at their own dedicated named-cafes, and that the group is populated with
And while I do not aim to purchase nor procure any of AKJB48's albums, this particular blogpost acts as a support for my ILikeTeeVee post and features music videos from the group, including Opening Track for the series, and a couple of select MVs of the group.
Also note that the songs are around the same era circa 2009-2011 and I have not looked into anything recent, nor am I interested to, I'm afraid :p
Finding these music videos online made me chuckle something fierce, but it let me have a look into them as AKB48 the "performers" instead … the above MV was (partially) used as the Opening Sequence in the TV series, while the track "Yankee Soul" - Opening shown below - (Full MV here) was used in "Majisuka Gakuen 2".
The sense of "role-play" and story seemed a prevailing thread in their MVs, which too features heavily their brand of "bubblegum-pop" and synchronized dancing ("Para-para" on-crack) - which seen in a huge group like this - I heartily tip my hat for their efforts and undoubtably hard work.
WHO ARE: "AKB48 (pronounced "A.K.B. forty-eight") is a Japanese idol girl group named after the Akihabara (Akiba for short) area of Tokyo, where the group's theater is located, and its original roster of 48 members. As of August 2014, the group has expanded to include 140 members aged from their early teens to their mid-20s. AKB48's producer, Yasushi Akimoto, wanted to form a girl group with its own theater (unlike pop groups performing occasional concerts and seen on television) and performing daily so fans could always see them live. This "idols you can meet" concept includes teams which can rotate performances and perform simultaneously at several events and "handshake" events, where fans can meet group members. Akimoto has expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups in Japan, China and Indonesia." (Wiki)
Seen above is the "live" performance for the song "Heavy Rotation", for which there is some "controversy" attached the original MV (posted below) …
"One of the group's risqué music videos have also been considered controversial. "Heavy Rotation"'s video was criticized by the same Western reporters for showing AKB48 members in lingerie, hugging, kissing and sharing a bath. Its director, Mika Ninagawa, said that she wanted to appeal to men and women with a creative, fun video because of the group's increasing popularity among girls. In an interview, she accepted responsibility for its content: "Mr. Akimoto left everything to me. He did not give me any tips at all ... I tried to show how AKB48 is in real life, in the video. In the dressing room, they seemed very close to each other. Then I came up with the concept [of a] girls' high school." (Wiki)Funny, I have not read anything "negative" (so far online) about their 2011-track ""Everyday, Katyusha", which sees the young girls dressed all in their swim suits … I guess the "gravure" culture seems more an acceptable notion? I am not here to judge otherwise :)