I've been meaning to review AKB48's latest PV, but I've just been putting and putting it off. Now with the recent attack on Kawaei Rina and Iriyama Anna and a staff member at a handshake event... I'd really rather not be reviewing the PV for Labrador Retriever.
But I have to.
And no, my reservations do not stem from two members getting attacked with a 20 inch hand saw. Speaking of that, I was just as surprised as other people about the attack... and yet at the same time I'm not. What really surprises me is that for such a famous group, something of this nature took so long to happen. As famous as AKB48 has gotten, I haven't really heard about any threats or harassment from their fans, or even people who aren't fans. I'm certain there are loons out there (that is a universal with any artist, idol or not) but never any that tried to physically attack any of the members. Well... until now. I haven't written about the attack, because there's really nothing that I feel like I can say. Other bloggers have expressed my sentiments. The only thing I really have to say about this entire incident is that I hope Rina and Anna and the unnamed staff member are going to be mentally okay. I know they'll physically recover, but someone personally attacking you is a very traumatic event. And I wonder how this will effect future events with AKB48 or even the relationship between AKB48 and its fans now. The attack burst that bubble of security and trust between the idols and fans, and I don't think that can ever be re-established again.
Now. As I was saying, I have been procrastinating on my review for Labrador Retriever. Why? Because I can't do it. I can't give AKB48's newest single my time and effort to review. It doesn't deserve it. Besides, you all know what I'm going to say. It's the same thing I've been saying about every other A-side they've released since 2012. And I'm tired. The passionate rage I've had for their recent A-sides and how awful they've been is just about gone. And all that's left is the exhaustion of writing the same thing over and over again. It feels more like an obligation than it does something I want to do. I mean, I could be writing about a group that I really like right now, or even an editorial that I've been wanting to finish these past few months. But no, I have to review effing Labrador Retriever, a song so bad it doesn't deserve my time. Bad songs can be fun to review. Hello Kitty by Avril Lavigne is a horrendous song, but it is such fun to talk about because it's bad in the most garish way possible. When something's bad, disappointingly bad, it's not fun to review. AKB48's A-sides for the past two years, with the exception of Mae Shika Mukanee and maybe UZA, have been disappointingly bad. And I just can't sit here and say the same thing I've said for all those bad singles again.
So I think... I'm gonna put AKB48 on the Idol Blacklist.
I'm not just sick of AKB48's music, I'm sick of AKB48, and no amount of waxing poetic about their good songs of the past can cure that. I have nothing against girls, and I respect how hard they work for such an exploitative management. In fact, it's AKS that I have more disdain for and all their pandering, desperate methods to juice more revenue, even at the cost of the well-being/safety/self esteem/health of the girls they're managing. I'm sick of the elections, the tournaments, the debate over "who should be center!?!?", everything with AKB48. And when you can't stand something, I've learned the best thing to do is just drop it. I don't want to use my words to waste time on something that's just going to give me grief when I could use that same energy to write about something I actually like. I'll still include AKB48's older releases in the Time Capsule Review pulls, but after Labrador Retriever, I don't plan on reviewing any of their future songs or music videos or discussing any Senbatsu news. I'll review Nogizaka46's and maybe NMB48's or SKE48's if they're good but no more AKB48. Because it's just the same thing with each new release and I am so, so burnt out on reviewing AKB48. But I did promise one last AKB48 review, so let's get this over with.
The only way I can find Labrador Retriever to be a decent song is by comparing it to all the other terrible A-sides AKB48's been releasing these past two years. So on that scale of terrible, Labrador Retriever just ranks as the least terrible. And that is pretty much all you need to know about this song. If you actually liked Gingham Check, Eien Pressure, So Long!, Sayonara Crawl, and Suzukake Nanchara (and apparently, there are people who do), then you will like Labrador Retriever. I do not. Yet I can't even hate this song, because this song may as well be a bag of air. There is nothing to it. Labrador Retriever is a song that lacks anything good; it is four minutes of nothingness. You may as well be listening to wind, because that's pretty much the same effect you'll have listening to Labrador Retriever. And yet I know that people will still by this four minutes of nothingness that calls itself a song; in fact, over 1 million people already have. Obviously, it's just for the Senbatsu election, and even then, I highly doubt many people buy AKB48 singles for the song quality. All right, I got nothing else on Labrador Retriever. It's a lifeless song that I intend on forgetting very soon.
Okay, time to screencap the PV. Yay. I can hardly wait. Let's just get this over with.
The PV starts off with a woman pouring dog food. How promising.
Meanwhile, Mayu's in bed, dreaming of when AKB48 had better music.
There's the titular Labrador Retriever. Luckily, I'm a dog person.
And here's the dance shot that looks exactly like AKB48's last two summer dance shots only with different bathing suits. Joy.
Oh boy, I wonder which three members will win top three in the Senbatsu Election.
What a clever and subtle way of projecting fanservice to the audience.
Shots of idols having fun doing summer activities. How nice.
More summer activities. Whoop-dee-freaking-doo.
Well to be fair, they're having more fun than I am right now.
I love how no one's ever in sync in AKB48's summer music videos.
The lab is back. No doubt to beg for hot dogs.
Oh my god, it's been two minutes, and she's still pouring that dog food!?
I know AKB's idols advertise a lot of products but dog food? Really???
That's a fancy collar for a dog.
I guess Mayu and her dog have matching necklaces? That's not completely implausible.
Some A+ choreography going on back there. It puts Perfume's to shame.
Ew ew ew NO. I don't even let other people lick my ice cream, why would you let a dog!?
Why would you like it afterward!? That is unsanitary on so many levels.
God, I've seen the "idols in the back of a truck" in so many summer PVs by now that it's probably a trope.
I don't care how cute the dog is, it doesn't save the PV.
Although I will admit I chuckled at this one part. Just this one part.
Ack! I'm getting war flashbacks to Yurushite Nyan!
I guess they're all gonna follow the lab becuase... the plot demands it?
Wait a minute. What's going on?
Did they... all just turn into dogs?
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!?
This is stupid. This so, so stupid.
And no amount of cute doggies can't not make this stupid.
This is the worst plot twist ever.
And then Mayu barks at the end because... because fuck dignity, that's why!
I probably could have picked a better summer PV to kick off idol summer with, but I didn't want an AKB48 PV to be my 100th PV review. That being said... what the fuck did I just watch? I mean really, what was that? Is this PV saying that the members of AKB48 are dogs? Why did Mayu bark at the end? Why did the producers take the simplest concept and turn it into the weirdest, most awkward AKB48 PV I've reviewed? I guess I can say that the PV is... memorable. And different. And not your average summer PV. But honestly, I would have taken a generic summer PV over this, because this PV is just ridiculous. And not the fun kind of ridiculous. The song is called Labrador Retriever, so I figured that yes, there would be a labrador retriever in the PV. And having other dogs in the PV is also nice. I love dogs. Dogs are wonderful. I have a dog. But... this PV is so stupid. The conclusion is absolutely stupid, and makes everything building up to it even stupider. Why couldn't the girls have just danced with the dogs and call it a day? Why did they have to show the girls pretending to be dogs and licking/barking/sniffing/doing other dog things with their other selves?
I have reviewed some weird PVs, and they tend to fall into two categories: weird in a fun way or too weird to actually enjoy. Labrador Retriever's PV falls into that category. The creative decisions made with this PV baffle me. I want to know who thought this entire PV was a good idea and why, because I am at a loss for theories. I guess logic was that everyone loves dogs and wotas love idols in bikinis so why not combine them both as some mass-marketing ploy? I mean, does it even really matter what creative concept behind the summer PV was? Does anyone of AKB48's intended demographic really care about that? Well, I know that I do not care about this PV. I still think it's an awful, strange PV that makes zero sense concept-wise. Nonetheless, I don't care about this PV. I'm going to forget about it the moment I hit publish on this post. Because while Labrador Retriever is weird, it's still too boring to be memorably weird. Sort of how AKB48's music sucks but it's still to boring to be memorably suckish. All right, I think I'm gonna wrap the review up here. There is literally nothing else I can say about the PV for Labrador Retriever, and I'm ready to get this review over with. My final verdict is this PV is dog shit, and the only reason to watch it is if you're really itching to see your oshimen in a bikini.
One apple and only because I have a soft spot for dogs. Other than that, I do not give a shit about Labrador Retriever, and I'm glad to be done with it. Welcome to the Blacklist, AKB48. Enjoy your stay, because it looks like you're going to be on it for a long, long time.