Sashihara Rino’s solo debut05 April, 2012 by Chad
Since making the Senbatsu Election in 2010, Sashihara Rino has been going places. Now one of the group’s most recognizable faces, Sashihara jumped some of the tightest 10 spots last year to come in at an amazing #9 and now appears in her own weekly variety show among other accomplishments. Next month, Sashihara will be able to add another achievement under her belt with the release of her first ever solo music single, Soredemo Sukidayo (それでも好きだよ).
The video for Soredemo Sukidayo has already started airing on Japanese television. A preview can be seen online at the official avex YouTube Channel. The record label will be releasing Sashihara’s debut single only on May 2 but as expected of avex, promotions for Soredemo Sukidayo have begun rather early.
It is clear that Sashi’s producers know what she is loved for as all her best qualities are highlighted in the video. Within, Sashi is looked at from a number of angles: as an idol, as a wota and as a normal person.
Marketing stunts aside, Sashihara Rino found immense popularity over the past couple of years due to her down to earth, underdog image which in some ways make her the very personification of the AKB48 idea.
This is enforced in Soredemo Sukidayo’s promo video where we see three different facets of Sashihara’s character. In the first two, we see Sashihara Rino living a rather lost, unemployed life back in her hometown of Oita and as a normal school student, where she is shown to be awkward in relationships. Both of these play on Sashi’s normalcy and as a “heta” (unskillful) character, a running gag that has been used to sum up the Sashihara concept.
But the strongest part of the video is in how the drama segments are juxtaposed with scenes of her being an idol, in a glittery style reminiscent of 80s and 90s Japanese idols (Matsura Aya comes to mind). This is especially amusing, since it is a well known fact that Sashihara is an idol otaku herself and there is a little tongue-in-cheek humor in her emulation.
With some knowledge of the many faces of Sashihara Rino in mind, it is difficult, even for non-fan such as myself not to find her portrayal in the video endearing. While the style of music may not appeal to everyone, its catchy tune and clear hook, make Soredemo Sukidayo a clear winner. And if I were to offer my own opinion, would even go so far as to consider it the best release to have come out of the 48 family so far this year.
Not coincidentally, Soredemo Sukidayo is being used as the theme song for Sashihara’s first drama, Muse no Kagami. The midnight drama began airing earlier this year.
In typical fashion, Soredemo Sukidayo will be released a number of different versions. There are a total of 4 different coupling songs randomly spread out over 3 CD+DVD versions and a CD only theater version containing all songs. Also, in addition to the single and its music video, each CD+DVD edition will contain one of three different Sashihara Rino “Virtual Date” video collections.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.
Click here to search CDJapan for Soredemo Sukidayo and other related items.
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