If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I have some pretty major issues with AKB48 as it exists today. Member bloat, questionable music, declining quality TV shows, kennins, blah blah blah. Luckily this isn’t a haterade post. In fact, “High Tension” is pretty good stuff. I’m pleasantly shocked.
So Shimazaki Haruka gets to center one more single before she peaces out to graduation land. I’m not going to pull any punches. I hate this girl’s idol persona. It’s like a cheese grater on my most sensitive of parts. I don’t hate her as a person in the slightest because that would be extremely dumb, but as far as Paruru the idol goes, I couldn’t be more excited to see her spot in AKB48 go to someone else. Even so, I gotta give credit where it’s due. Much like we saw in “Bokutachi wa tatakawanai”, she makes a fine center. When she drops the bullshit act, she’s actually a pretty good performer.
Paruru gets some magical powers reminiscent of Q from Star Trek for the video. All it takes is a snap of her fingers to turn any scene into a massive party. She and the other members of this rather large senbatsu lineup lead the party march through various outdoor scenes. As the song title suggests, everything’s very rapid paced and full of energy. This PV strikes me as a nice mix of “1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku” and “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”. The dancing isn’t intricate if you inspect it too deeply, but it does a good enough job of adding some choreography to the chaos.
The chaotic scenery is fun to watch, too. From strip mall streets, to playgrounds, to a ferry in Tokyo Bay, to Robot Restaurant, this PV takes the party to pretty much every scene you could think of. Most shots are full of flashy lights and other sensory overload. It works very well for the song and the camera work is noticeably fantastic. It constantly flows with the action and quite a bit of the PV is on the move. It’s really well done.
The members are wearing bright colored clothing that looks nice enough. It’s a little on the flashy side of things rather than nice practical civilian clothes, but it fits the theme I guess. Overall the PV does a good job of being, for lack of any other term, high tension. It’s fun to watch. I’m very pleased that for five minutes I can set aside my current gripes about a group that used to be my entire fandom, and enjoy them as I once did.
As much as a part of me would love to just write this group out of my life, there’s still a lot of amazing members in AKB48. Many of them are on display in this video. Amazing girls like Okada Nana, Kawamoto Saya, and Oguri Yui manage to keep me plugged in even if it’s only a fraction of what I was before. It’s just nice to see these girls get something decent to perform. Now, if AKS would just end this ridiculous shit of non-AKB members in AKB singles. Probably not going to happen, though.
The song is pretty nice, too. The instrumentals have that AKS sound to them, but they’re very well put together and have a very fun, upbeat funkyness that’s catchy as hell. The vocals are a little on the average side, largely sticking to the chorus where it’s mostly impossible to hear anyone in particular. For this style, it’s slightly more forgivable. All in all it’s an enjoyable song. I hope this might be the start of a turnaround. I want AKB48 to succeed. It’s way more fun to enjoy idols than not. I’m pragmatic like that.
AKB48’s new single drops November 16th.
Buy on Amazon JP: Type A [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type B [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type C [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type D [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type E [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type A [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type B [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type C [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type D [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type E [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition]
Buy on CDJapan: Type A [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type B [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type C [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type D [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type E [CD+DVD, Regular Edition] | Type A [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type B [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type C [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type D [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] | Type E [w/ Event Ticket, Limited Edition] |