Nogizaka46 steps up to the plate with their second single19 April, 2012 by Mus
Official AKB48 rivals Nogizaka46 are back with a new single, Oide Shampoo. Armed with a renewed lineup of girls, the new single drops on the 2nd of May. With only a few months left till Nogizaka reaches their 5th month ― when Akimoto Yasushi claims they’ll catch up to AKB48 ― how much closer does Oide Shampoo take this group of 33 girls?
The release sees the two members who were swapped into the Shichifukujin (Nogizaka46’s answer to AKB48’s Kami 7) forming the center of Oide Shampoo along with Ikoma Rina. Sakurai Reika and Nakada Kana are both featured on the Type A jacket of the single, as well as alternating for Types B and C respectively.
Musically, Oide Shampoo is easy listening. Much like their previous Guru Guru Curtain, it’s a throwback to pop songs of old. There does not seem to be any rush on Nogizaka’s part to embrace the current trend of guitar-driven melodies, or the bassy drops that are gaining popularity. The chorus is a great melodic hook, characteristic of many ear-worms come and gone.
Guuzen wo Iiwake ni Shite, performed by the rest of the Shichifukujin, is no doubt an attempt at emulating the electro stylings of Nakata Yasutaka. However, it has a rather generic electro sound, and isn’t particularly memorable.
Of course, no OOO48-related release is complete without some form of added publicity. Oide Shampoo’s release date clashes with AKB48 member’s Sashihara Rino’s solo debut, Soredemo Sukidayo.
Both Nogizaka and Sashihara have spoken about it; they have even appeared on TV show Ariyoshi AKB Kyowakoku to challenge Sashiko. In response to Nogizaka46 having 33 different date simulation videos as DVD bonuses, Sashihara will film 33 date simulation videos as well, except they all star herself.
A recent development has been a controversy over the net about the propriety of the choreography in Oide Shampoo. In an interlude, the girls pick up their skirts, exposing their legs and white shorts. While no more provocative than what one can see on TV, this didn’t seem to go down well with some, prompting complaints.
After a message from Akimoto Yasushi on Google+ and observation of fan reaction, it seems the choreography will be changed.
While it’s not particularly clear how well the single will do given its rather quirky musical style, the competition brought about by the release date alone should provide an ample amount of publicity boost. The promotion video along with other related videos can be viewed on the official YouTube channel. Unfortunately (and inexplicably), it is restricted to only Japanese IP addresses, and as such will only be available for Japanese visitors.
It remains to be seen if this will be Nogizaka46’s break out single, but I’m sure many will be looking forward to the Oricon charts for this one.Click here to search CDJapan for Oide Shampoo 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.