In case you've been blissfully unaware of this group, Nogiazaki46 is the self-proclaimed "rival" to AKB48. In my opinion, they're not much of a rival considering Aki-P also produces them and they appear to get great support from the AKB girls. Friendly rivalray perhaps? I'd known about this group and I'd taken mild interest in them but nothing worth writing about. Especially considering there was hardly any news about them for the past year and it's only now that they're releasing their first single. And that's what I'm here to talk about. Their debut single. Guruguru Curtain. Before I get into this, I want to point out that the concept of a rival (even a self-created one) is still a pretty neat idea. Sure, it would be cooler is say, a different group (TGS? Pretty please?) from a different company was against AKB but this could have gone in a very thrilling direction. Nogiazaka could have been everything AKB was not; no school uniforms, no group concept but something that could have been grittier, sweeter, scarier, just a complete and total 180 of AKB48. With their revision of Aitakatta I was thinking that hey, maybe they would be like a darker and edgier version of AKB48... kind of like Girls' Generation and the Black Soshi (but more than just an image).
Those hopes and dreams were knocked over the head with a microphone when I finally watched and listened to their debut song.
|So that's what happened to the Dorothy's dresses!|
Still despite the lackluster A-side, at least I still had Aitakatta, right? After all, I'd seen a concert performance of the song and it was a pretty kickass cover. It was the edgy cover that I'd kinda been hoping the group woiuld turn out to be. After the disappointment of Guruguru Cash Cow, I thought "Hey! There's going to be a PV for Aitakatta too! Maybe it'll match the song!" But no. That would have required work. Instead, we get an exact replica of AKB's PV. I'm not kidding. It is exactly like the original except with different colors and different members. They're not even trying to hide it. It is a shot for shot remake.
And that's when I realized that Nogizaka46 wasn't a rival of AKB48 despite the self-proclaimed title. They're a rip-off of AKB48. Same uniforms, songs, PVs, nothing new and original to bring to the table. Who knows why? Maybe Aki-P's hoping they'll cash in because AKB48 did that doing the same thing. But honestly? I don't think it's going to work. Oh, they'll sell. Hell, if Wasamin can't even make it into the Senbatsu but still sell over 20k then I don't think this group has to worry about going bankrupt. My prediction is their sales will be on par with SDN48's. After all, Aki-P needs a new red-headed stepchild since SDN is going under. Maybe they'll sell a bit more but if their next single is like this, I don't see how. I'm probably just hoping they don't do well because of my absolute disappointment.
Nice job, Aki-P. You took a great concept and let it go down the drain.