Monday, January 30, 2012

Give Me a Better PV

A few days, ago AKB48 released a PV preview for Give Me Five! along with the full PV shortly after. I've said my opinions about this song before but I'll say them again. I really do enjoy the genki slightly rock-ish feel to the song and it's pretty catchy. To me it sounds like a combination of a bunch of their older singles! I'm also really happy that Aki-P's broken away from the usual sakura/graduation single he's so fond of releasing around this time. Does the song blow my mind and rest in the pantheon of godlike music right next to Perfume? No, but it's a pretty fun song and generic without being too generic... if that even makes sense. I suppose I'll take anything after the snoozefest known as Ue Kara Mariko but even so I still like this single! So there I was on my merry way, content that maybe Aki-P would break the singles formula this year like I had so hoped! Then we got some more news about Give Me Five! The music to the song would be performed by members of the AKB themselves! It's really cool concept for and idol group and the idea held a lot of potential. Naturally I got excited about this too!

Then the PV came out.

And the "band" for the single is... well... let's just look at the PV. I think that sums up how the band turned out.

Wow. Did they use too much PV money for Flying Get and Kaze wa?

Yukirin? Drums? I thought she played the trombone!

Yuko looks ecstatic and probably maintains the most energy throughout this PV...

Rena! Miichan! Brass instruments? Oh well, I'll go with it!

And here's Tomochin with the easiest instrument in the world and Mariko with the second easiest instrument in the world (unless you count the triangle).

Takamina! With her kickass ponytail and kickass red guitar!

Oh Harunyan, even when you play the keyboard you still look dreamy-dazed!

I wonder if Yuko's side-eying Acchan for stealing her center spot again...

Mayuyu the Fantastic Creeper is surprisingly subdued in this PV (I blame the instruments).

That set. I swear it's my high school gym.

I feel bad for the chorus girls, they don't even get to perform (and Sayaka can actually play an instrument!).

Poor Mayuyu. She tried to flash her Creeper Smile but is burdened with the instruments. A sad day for creepers around the world.

Even Acchan looks more bored than usual...

In fact, I think the brass section is having more fun!

Takamina looks like she's having a blast whilst Acchan struggles with the guitar.

We then get to the (very poorly pieced together) storyline involving Acchan being... Acchan.

Why does Yukirin always remind me of her character from Majisuka Gakuen every time she's acting?

It appears Yuko's also a prostitute/call girl/slut in this PV but for noble reasons.

Is this what the Senbatsu did while the others were promoting Ue Kara Mariko?

Not sure why this happened. Tragic, emotional storyline in the long PV, perhaps?

BWAH! Yukirin, you're reaching Mayuyu levels of creepy!

This is a pretty shot... really, that's all I have to say.

Thank god Yukirin looks normal in these shots.


Okay? I'll go with it!

This is what I love about Yuko; she can switch from goofy and lovable to tense and delicate in just a moment!

Gee, I wonder who this is. Definitely not Acchan, the only member who ever gets a backstory!

I will say the guitar solo Takamina pulls here is pretty decent.

I wish I could be as enthusiastic as that crowd...

Okay, did they just use stock footage from Majisuka Gakuen?

I haven't mentioned Jurina yet but she looks awesome in this PV and so does Mariko!

And the PV ends with high fives all around because... why not?

They had to find some way to have the title make sense.
I have to admit... I'm really disappointed with the PV. I think they had a great concept but when it came to execution I don't think the girls were prepared enough for it. As I was watching the PV, I just kept thinking how awkward and out of place everyone looked. The gym scenes looked very cheap but to be fair, their is a whole backstory to the cheap set. From what I can gather via the Internet, the story is about a bunch of high school dropouts who decide to form a band as a route to some way of happiness. Not that we get to see any of that; those bits and snippets from the drama will later be shown in a 34 minute PV. Although the idea and plot sound promsing I'll probably have to skip on it because of the language barrier. So I'm stuck with this with its cheap set, choppy scene changes, and awkward storyline. The biggest problem with this PV is the fact that they're playing their own instruments; I know I gushed about how awesome it could be but it decided to go the other direction. What I think is... well... I think I can explain this better through examples. Meet Scandal.

And the outfits AKB hijacked from them

They also happen to be an all-girl group/band who plays their own instruments as seen here and here. Now I'm no music expert but from what I can tell they happen to be girls who know how to play instruments and play them well. In their music videos, they seem to really be connected to their instruments and use that skill to their advantage. Love or hate their actual music, they definitely know their craft. And that's where AKB falls short. I think one of the keys to playing your own music, singing, or just about... anything you have to know what you're doing. The members only had time to learn a freaking instrument for what? Four months? Three? You can't exactly turn into the next Zone in such a short amount of time unless you have an insane amount of talent. But they don't; a majority of the main players hardly touched the instruments they were handed. Hence they're desperately groping around trying to remember not the only the music but how to play the instruments, handle them, sing at the same time. So they don't have the time or extra energy to add in the fun charisma usually found in their PVs and that really drags the PV down. All in all, this concept was really a let down for me because of how unprepared the girls were.

Please let me explain that in no way am I saying that AKB should never play their own music. I would love that. I think it would be a cool spin on such a large idol group. But if they're going to do that, they have to be prepared for it. And for Give Me Five! they're still trying to figure out the right notes. So the song is good but the execution is poor. If you can understand Japanese, tell me how the long PV is. Maybe I'll like that better.

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