AKB48's 9th single toys with fans hearts23 January, 2008 by Chad
Romance, Irane (Romance, I Don’t Need It) from the second set of Himawari group songs, was released as AKB48’s 9th single in January 2008. The single sold a total of 23,209 copies during its 5 weeks on the Oricon charts. Despite the title, the songs lyrics voice the conflicting thoughts of a girl uncertain about love, rather than a declaration of independence.
Like their previous single, Romance, Irane came in three different varieties. Limited A came with the expected bonus DVD (this time back with Romance, Irane’s own music video). Limited B provided extra remixes of the titular track sung by the remaining members. While the Regular no frills versions provided neither of these extras but at a reduced price.
For this single, the girls returned with a larger Senbatsu group of 16 members. Romance, Irane marked Kikuchi Ayaka’s first time as a Senbatsu member. It was also Sato Yukari’s first appearance since AKB48’s second single, Skirt, Hirari, while Tojima Hana’s was last took part in Aitakatta.
Even though they weren’t among the chosen members for Romance, Irane (sadly), Noro Kayo and Sato Natsuki appear at the start of the song to introduce the performance. They also appear in the behind the scenes “making of” video and narrate the television commercial for the single.
The director for Skirt, Hirari’s PV, Takeishi Wataru returned to direct his second AKB48 video with Romance, Irane. Takeishi is a famous PV director, known for filming the most expensive music videos in Japan such as Ayumi Hamasaki’s “My Name’s Women” and “Jewel” which cost more than $2 million us dollars each.
Still despite the big budget, many of his videos still come out underwhelming. And Romance, Irane was no exception. As soon as it was released, many fans pointed out how much of a step back it was for AKB48 videos.
Romance, Irane’s was actully filmed inside Tokyo Tower. Theme wise, it bore certain similarities to his last video Skirt, Hirari’s, as both were driven exclusively by dance scenes. While Skirt, Hirari was inspired by old school Japanese pop, Romance, Irane drew inspiration from 80s disco with its gaudy outfits and shiny surfaces.
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