New SKE48 single not your typical summer single08 May, 2012 by Mus
Following NMB48’s release of Nagiichi is Aishiteraburu, SKE48’s summer single for 2012. The second in a 3-week stretch of releases by the mainstays of the AKB48 family, SKE48 goes in a different direction from her sisters. Coming off the controversy from the release of Kataomoi, Finally, how does this single set itself apart, and how does it fare in comparison?
Aishiteraburu is a portmanteau of sorts ― it combines the English ‘I love you’ with its Japanese equivalent, aishiteru. Initially, the single was slated to be called Airabushiteru, but was changed to Aishiteraburu on the suggestion of the members to Akimoto Yasushi. The final title rolls off the tongue better, so props are due for the girls.
The new single sees a change in the lineup, with Yakata Miki and Ishida Anna coming in to replace Kuwabara Mizuki and Hiramatsu Kanako from the previous single. This brings the number of girls from Team KII in the single to half of the total 16. This change in single lineup could see KII being pushed a little more in subsequent singles as well, being in a good middle ground between the stalwarts in Team S and newbies of Team E.
Aishiteraburu keeps the standard of decent releases up for SKE48. While it is not as catchy as Kataomoi, Finally, or nearly as polished as Pareo wa Emerald, it strikes a good balance between the fun and liveliness of SKE48, without managing to sound too generic. The chorus is catchy, yet doesn’t detract from the rest of the song, unlike many other recent releases from the 48 groups.
The biggest draw of the single is definitely the promotional video. The first to be shot in Saipan, it begins with the camera following the girls as they prepare to head overseas for the recording. It leads into shots of the girls dancing on a platform on the sea. These itself are interspersed with medium close-up shots of the girls singing their lines. Definitely something different, considering the more dramatic approach usually seen in promotional videos.
These shots give the video a more personal feel, and serve to showcase the members as they are, without any sort of gimmicky costumes or makeup. This message is made even clearer when one considers that the girls are dressed in summery costumes that aren’t bikinis for the dance parts, a development that surprised many who were expecting otherwise. Fans will also be delighted to hear that screentime is divided nicely between the girls.
The B-sides of the single are great as well. Shirogumi sings Nante Ginga wa Akarui no Darou, a slow-ish number with Victorian inspired dress and choreography adapted from formal dancing styles. Akagumi (missing Matsui Jurina due to health issues) sings Aun no Kiss, an upbeat song with the girls in traditionally-inspired costumes and the video being set in a matsuri setting. Halation from Selection 8 also features members many wouldn’t know, although a preview of the video has yet to surface.
SKE48 attempts to set itself apart from its sisters, and this clearly shows in Aishiteraburu. A summer single with an A-side that doesn’t have a gimmicky video is hard enough to find, much less one that’s actually good. The B-sides all complement the A-sides well, and give each edition its own flavor.
Releasing on 16th May, Aishiteraburu is probably the best out of the 3 from the 48 family this May, and in my opinion, worth the purchase.Click here to search CDJapan for Aishiteraburu and other related items.
Writer who also doubles as the photographer during event coverage. Mus' interests in Japan lie in the language, literature, popular culture and underground rock bands. Having an academic background in Japan, Mus is also particularly interested in the study of Nihonjinron.