10nen Zakura/10年桜 (pronounced Junen Zakura) is AKB48’s 10th major single and the 13th overall. The normal single was released in March 2009 by King Record’s You, Be Cool! (an office dedicated entirely to AKB48), while the theater edition was released by the New King Records label.
Like their other Sakura song, Junen Zakura revolves around the theme of graduation but features a more upbeat tune. Takahashi Eiki who has been directing most of their recent videos makes a return. Junen Zakura is notable for being the first time in Japan where a professional film was shot entirely with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR (which happens to be the same camera our posters MJ and Wilson shoot with). The video continues the trend of being unusually long for a music video with various drama-esque scenes.
Junen Zakura featured a 20 member Senbatsu team that was mostly similar to Oogoe Diamond’s. Kawasaki Nozomi graduated a week before Junen Zakura’s release while Sato Yukari and Akimoto Sayaka were rotated out in favor of Fujie Reina, Kuramochi Asuka and SKE48’s Matsui Rena. This would be the first time the 3 girls were chosen to perform in a single.
Like Oogoe Diamond, 10nen Zakura was released in only two varieties. However, this time both CDs’ contents were identical and only the normal version included a bonus DVD. First press versions of the theater edition came with a random photo card of one of the girls.
The release of Junen Zakura marked AKB48’s first appearance on Music Station since Skirt, Hirari 3 years ago. The song was incredible well received, boasting AKB48’s highest sales for a single up to that point.
Junen Zakura reached a #3 rank during its first week and sold a total of 106,975 copies while it charted. It was also voted the #3 most popular song for the Request Hour Set List Best 100 2010.
Oshima Mai, a founding Team A member who had been at the forefront in all AKB48’s singles, graduated one month after Junen Zakura’s release.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
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