Thursday, 1 December 2011

24 days of singles day 1: Sakura no Hanabiratachi and Dear My Teacher

So guess who decided to do this about 20 seconds before starting it.

I'm today covering the first AKB single and it's B-side.

Sakura no Hanbiratachi was the first single obviously, and as I understand was one of 3 songs from Team A's first stage that fans voted to become the first released single. It features all 21 members of the time, and Akimoto apparently hadn't decided Maeda was all-important yet, but there isn't really a centre. The members are: Itano Tomomi, Usami Yuka, Urano Kazumi, Ooe Tomomi, Oshima Mai, Orii Ayumi, Kawasaki Nozomi, Kojima Haruna, Komatani Hitomi, Sato Yukari, Shinoda Mariko (I actually thought she hadn't joined yet, more on that later), Takahashi Minami, Tojima Hana, Nakanishi Risa, Narita Risa, Hirajami Natsumi, Hoshino Michiru, Maeda Atsuko, Msuyama Kayano, Minegishi Minami and Watanabe Shiho.

The song itself is about ones feelings when graduating from school, and questions how they'll look back on it in later days. The music video features a segment set up like a normal stage performance, while featuring footage of either the auditions and selections, or that and a bit more of how they got to where they are. One thing ai aways notive when watching this video (and those for the following two singles) is how much all of the members there will have changed in appearance by 2008. I can always recognise them, but they don't look the same. Compare with Jurina now, who hasn't aged a day in about 3 years.

Before going on to the B-side, I'll explain the Mariko comment. Mariko is the only member of AKB48 to not audition (I think theres an SDN member who was an SKE member who was already some form of celebrity who didn't audition either). She had planned to audioton, but the day of her audition she had to work at the cafe (ironically it was at the theate). She told some visitors about it, and a lot of people appealed to Akimoto-Sensei to let her audition. He gave her 3 days to learn the dances to all 3 of AKB's singles, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The B-Side is Dear My Teacher, and since in those days AKB didn't have enough members to have four tracks on a single and still have girls spare, it's also sung by Original Team A.
Now I imagine the basic story to this song should be fairly obvious, but just let me check. Yeah, pretty much, girl is in love with teacher (Namida Surprise and Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008 flashforward in 3, 2, 1) and basically wants him to kiss her and stuff. I'm not entirely sure if she gets the extra tuition or not, but the last verse sort of implies she does.

I feel it's also worth mentioning here Sakura no Hanabiritachi 2008, as while unlike Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2010 it did get a commercial release, it's not counted as one of the singles when they're lised. It's basically a self cover, the lyrics are all the same.
Performing is: Team A: Itano Tomomi, Kojima Haruna, Oshima Mai, Sato Yukari, Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami, Narita Risa, Maeda Atsuko, Minegishi Minami,
Team K: Akimoto Sayaka, Oshima Yuko, Ono Erena, Matsubara Natsumi, Kasai Tomomi, Miyazawa Sae
Team B: Oota Aika, Kashiwagi Yuki, Kikuchi Ayaka, Hirajima Natsumi, Watanabe Mayu.

The PV this time is about graduation as well, and features every member of the time in the hall during the graduaation signignthe song. Focus notably goes to Minegishi, who reads the graduation speech, Kojima looking at the empty hall sadly, Kasai, who is in love with her teacher, and is about to confess when she sees him with another women, causing her to break down in tears when Yuko sees her. Speaking of Yuko, she and Maeda discuss how they'll feel about it years dorm now, and theres a possible hint at Maeda being in love with Yuko, represented by Yuko being made to kiss a bust in a flashback, and Maeda kissing the same bust in the present. The video ends with them and possibly Takamina, it's been a while leaving the school for the last time, when the groundskeeper, who jokes with them at the gates several times during the video, signals them through one last time.

Sakura no Hanabiritachi also has a B-Side, Saigo no Seifuku, which I haven't heard before, but it features the Senbatsu. It's basically about how they're now going to treasure school memories, missi their friends and go their own way.

And so thats day 1.

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