NOTE: Since it’s late/very early in the morning and I want to get the review out, I’ll update this post with PV screencaps later 🙂
So it’s 2:15 am, I move back to campus tomorrow morning, and I should probably be sleeping or at least double checking that I packed everything I needed. Instead I’m deciding to screw such priority and write a much needed review of AKB48’s latest single A-side and PV, Heavy Rotation.
- Although I’m only going to talk about the one song in this entry, I’m just going to sidetrack a bit and talk about the physical CD itself for a second.
- Money has been pretty tight with me lately (especially after I preordered Takamina’s solo calendar, photobook, and No Sleeves’ first album, plus I’m saving up for a bass guitar), but I went to Kinokuniya the other day and shelves were stocked with copies of Heavy Rotation, so of course I couldn’t resist. I decided to only buy one of the two editions at the time, and through a series of scientific processes I went with Limited Edition A. Why?
- Takamina is on the back cover!
- I was still obsessing over the adorableness that is Yasai Sisters at the time, so I wanted to buy the edition with that song, and
- I like the Limited Edition A cover more than Limited Edition B xD
To be honestly I only planned on buying that one edition, but it wasn’t until I got home that I remembered that Takamina’s Issho ni Koreichi! clip is on the Type B version, I want Lucky Seven on my iPod, and I forgot I wanted to watch the rest of the election documentary (damn you AKS for forcing us to buy both versions!). Luckily I need to go back to Kinokuniya to pick up my Heavy Rotation bonuses since they didn’t have it in the store at the time, so it all works out ^_^
But anyaaay, I digress. HR review time! ^^
To be honest I wasn’t super crazy about the song when I first heard it, but that was mainly because it was a horrible concert recording, I could hardly hear the song, and I’ve learning from past experiences to never judge a song from the first preview. So, I waited it out for a better rip and oh my god, I fell in love with it instantly <3. Heavy Rotation is SUCH an adorabely innocent and cute song – it’s impossible for you not to enjoy it, or at least resist wanting to get up and dance whenever you hear it. I loved the little bits and pieces of the lyrics that I was about to make out, and now that a full translation of the song is out (thank you loveandcoffee! <3) I love it a million times more. I mean c’mon, with lyrics like:
Like pop corn popping
The words “I love you” are dancing
Just by thinking of your face or voice
I just can’t sit still
Just like that song,
My favourite song
That I used to listen all the time,
In non-stop repeat mode
24 hours a day
I’m only requesting you
how can you NOT love a song like this?! You’d have to had no soul, that’s how 😀 I think perhaps my favorite thing about AKB48 has always been they have songs with lyrics that anyone and everyone could relate to, and Heavy Rotation is no exception.
But yeah, so that was my general opinion of the song itself. Then the PV came out.
Four words: TAKAMINA IN CAT EARS!!!
Haha. But seriously, I’m like a squirrel so right away what I noticed and what I absolutely adored was all the colors, from the backrounds and various scenes to the girls’ costumes (I especially love the multicolored skirts and black and pink kitty dresses ^_^). I LOVED the Takamina moments I got to see (Takamina… eating strawberries… *o*), and I like the concept of the PV (despite the fact that the girls were wearing PJs and lingerie, I like the innocent aspect of both the songs lyrics and what’s going on in the PV).
One thing which I disliked greatly though was the way both screentime and line distribution were handled. I have no problem with Yuko, I seriously don’t, but honestly – this was too much. People were complaining about Acchan hogging up screentime all the time, but I feel the way Yuko got all the attention with Heavy Rotation was even worse. I felt that way initially when the CD covers were revealed (I could go on about that, but I’ll choose not too…) and even more so when I saw the PV.
First of all, the only reason Yuko got all that screentime was because she ranked Number 1 in the past senbatsu election. And if you deny that… well, then you obviously don’t know diddly about AKB. Seriously, that’s the way it worked with Heavy Rotation: Yuko got the center for the dance and the only solo line of the song, plus the most screen time; followed by Acchan and Mariko, then Tomochin, then Takamina and Mayuyu, then Kojiharu, Sae, and Yukirin, then the rest of the media senbatsu: Chiyuu and the two Matsuis. The rest of senbatsu got shafted and you only got to see them for about 2.5 seconds (that latest Sasshi commerical is proof enough xD). Honestly. I love Takamina, but I also like seeing the other girls as well. With Heavy Rotation, I was particularly keeping my eye out for Miichan (my #2) and Sayaka (because she is fucking awesome and you can’t hate Sayaka). I spied Miichan for about two seconds, but I was only able to pick out Sayaka in the promo pic (granted, after I saw Miichan I was so upset that the rest of the senbatsu girls got ignored that I just kept my sights set on Takamina for the rest of the PV). But yeah, that’s one thing that makes me really hate the PV and the way AKB48 is being promoted right now. Like I said I have absolutely nothing against Yuko, but seeing her in the center of Heavy Rotation and being in the forefront of the group right now is just… weird. To be honest I was very much more content with Acchan and Takamina (more so Acchan in some respects) being the centers. Of course I’m partially baised because of Takamina, but I mostly feel this way because, simply, I was used to Acchan being center. While I was very happy Yuko got #1 in the election and Acchan got a break from not only being center but also being hated on, a part of me was really upset. I was expecting and just assumed Acchan was going to win, so I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart was heavy when I read the news. It was more of the fact that the usual AKB routine that I was so used to was disrupted that I had any ill feelings towards Yuko, which I feel I must reitterate was not the case.
So yeah, in that respect I don’t like that aspect about the PV, however as a whole – the song, the melody, the lyrics, the visuals – I really do enjoy Heavy Rotation. I hope AKB keeps it up with the amazing singles in the future, however I really hope the Yuko/media senbatsu pimping dies down soon so the distribution and screen time can be more fair and go back to the somewhat norm we are used to 🙂