Iiwake Maybe is AKB48’s 13th major release. It is especially notable for a variety of reasons, the first being that is featured a fan elected lineup of the top 21 girls for 2009. It was also voted AKB48’s most popular song last year. Due to continual use of Iiwake Maybe’s uniforms in performances and press, the outfit also remains AKB48’s most iconic getup.
Iiwake Maybe is a bittersweet song about a girl questioning her romantic feelings and finally admitting them to herself. The amazing lyrics are contrasted by an upbeat melody, but the words flow smoothly to the tune. The title for the single translates roughly as “Maybe (it’s a) Excuse” (topics are often omitted in the Japanese language). While not a personal fave, I can completely understand the popularity of the song.
As with all recent singles, the PV was directed by Takahashi Eiki. It was filmed at Katorishi in Chiba Prefecture. Though a Senbatsu member, Miyazaki Miho was sadly absent the PV due to health reasons.
For the most part the selected members were similar to previous singles. However, the previously absent Sato Amina, Akimoto Sayaka, Kuramochi Asuka and Ota Aika made a return thanks to their fans.
The top 12 “Media Senbatsu” became the faces of AKB48 during promotions for the single. They also appear in the covers for both versions of the single. The logo for Iiwake Maybe was drawn by Team K’s Ono Erena.
The remaining members who ranked 22-30 sung the B-side, Tobenai Agehachou as the “Under Girls”.
Iiwake Maybe continued the standard of having a CD+DVD normal edition, as well a CD only version sold at the AKB48 theater. The DVD contained PVs for both Iiwake and its B-side (a first), as well as a “AKB48 General Election Document” video.
As usual, first press copies of the single included tickets for a handshake event following the release of the single. These handshake events were held throughout Japan, so fans from outside Tokyo had a chance to meet their favorite idols too. Surprisingly though, there was little promotion surrounding the actual release of the single.
On it’s first day, Iiwake Maybe sold 90,774 copies, only slightly less than Namida Surprise!’s likely inflated sales. Iiwake Maybe outsold SMAP’s Sotto Kyutto/Super Star★ (which was released on the same day) to take the #1 spot on the Oricon charts for its first day. The media followed the battle closely but AKB48 eventually lost out during the week’s sales for a #2 weekly ranking. In the end, a total of 123,667 copies were sold while it charted, still an impressive amount when compared to other mainstream artists.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
Click here to search CDJapan for Iiwake Maybe and other related items.
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