AKB48’s message to Japan08 October, 2011 by Chad
If you have been following the AKB48 trend even just for a while, you might had noticed that it’s about that time of the year where they release their yearly dark and serious single. This year’s culprit is Kaze wa Fuiteiru (風は吹いている/The wind is blowing), which is once again filled with enough mainstream appeal to ensure their continual chart topping domination of the Japanese airwaves.
While previous “dark” singles like RIVER and Beginner have tried to play with various hip-hop references, Kaze wa Fuiteru is most certainly pop, with beats, as well as a dance clearly inspired by the king of pop himself. It gets more apparent in the later half, when the girls break out into typical Michael Jackson moves during the instrumental solo.
As someone pointed out, Kaze wa Fuiteru wouldn’t be out of place as an Arashi song. Even its gritty cinematics fit the ball. To be perfectly honest, I find myself immediately liking Kaze wa Fuiteru more than any of the other singles usually released this time of the year.
It may seem that in recent time that AKB48, the group so well known for their various game breaking surprises have been riding pretty cautiously. With the wind of what should had been Team 4’s most glorious year bogged down by scandals and no other new major announcements in concerts as we’ve been used to.
But perhaps we are forgetting that it has only been months since the tsunami and resultant earthquake shook Japan. But while the country as a hold puts on a strong face to work towards the future, it will take a while for many to recover from its effects.
In the past months, AKB48 have been most respectful. The company, girls and fans have contributed tremendously to the relief efforts, raising more than entire countries in some cases. Instead of just financially, the group has also been beacons of hope, lifting spirits through their music.
Kaze wa Fuiteiru comes just after the end of their Dareka no tame ni project. Unlike the ballad, its video is filled with enough grit to distract viewers. But pay a little more attention and we see hints of a related theme with Kaze wa Fuiteiru’s lyrics mirroring the feelings of devastation. Appropriately, a portion of Kaze wa Fuiteiru’s proceeds will also go toward the victims of the tsunami. With the song being symbolic of those who have suffered from the disaster.
But we also see a small glimmer of hope and the message that there is a need to rebuild. Even the AKB48 member’s avant garde outfits worn during the song’s promo video are made to resemble those of seedlings in an otherwise barren landscape.
Perhaps an angsty song like this would resound better with the Japanese teen population than the slow melodies of Dareka no tame ni. And ultimately, provide them some hope. Or at least (as it is the purpose of all music) a distraction from the troubles of their daily lives.
Kaze wa Fuiteiru will be released on October 26 2011. Pre-orders are available at various online retailers now.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
Click here to search CDJapan for Kaze wa Fuiteiru and other related items.
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