I’m not exactly the biggest AKB48 fan. I don’t know most of the members names or anything like that but since the video for Heavy Rotation is prime cannon fodder for debate I figured I’d put in my half a cent on it. My opinion on it may surprise a few people, or may be it won’t.
As always the opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent those of the other Selective Hearing staff. I don’t apologize for offending anyone because really, you should all be mature enough to accept other people’s opinions even if you don’t agree with them.
Heavy Rotation – Fan service or Skinemax material?
Many people are getting upset over the latest AKB48 video. Why? Well if it isn’t obvious it’s because it’s gratuitous fan service type of promotion. This is coming after another type of fan service kind of video for Ponytail to Shushu. The ante is upped with Heavy Rotation. Gone are school girl uniforms and swimsuits and in are racy lingerie, cat girl outfits and in one case, nothing but bubbles. Oh and a lot of intergroup kissing.
From what I understand there are a few not of legal age members in this video so I can understand why people are upset. But I was also told that the majority of the featured girls in this video are pretty much of legal age so the directors, producers or whatever wonderful masterminds who came up with the concept for this (thank you very much by the way) could do whatever they wanted.
Still, one has to wonder why AKB48 has to make a video like this in the first place? They are currently riding the wave of popularity that Hello! Project had a few years ago. There’s really no need to resort to videos such as this unless they are starting to lose steam as well. I don’t mean to speculate, but normally stuff like this is reserved as a way of either saving an artists career or indicating a change in direction.
Does that mean the next logical step for an AKB48 video will be to take the older members & make a softcore AV? I don’t mean to equate AKB with porn (although Rina Nakanishi going into JAV doesn’t help distance the two) but it makes sense to me. I & probably many others would probably be down with that. Before you AKB hardcores start getting your panties in a knot, remember that I’m calling things as I see them. Some of the Hello! Project hardcores I know probably are most likely laughing right now and would not be as neutral as I am when it comes to this subject.
Although I can appreciate this video for the spectacle that it is, it makes me wonder what this says about girl group idol fans in general? Do the labels think they’re all single horny males, aged 18-35 with a lot of disposable income? I mean it’s somewhat true but it’s not exactly representative of the fan base in general. There are many equally horny female fans (y’all rock by the way) and fans of both genders who appreciate not only the girls, but the music they present as well.
Coming from personal experience, outsiders of this kind of fandom look at you like you’re crazy if you show them this kind of video. While it may be an easy way to introduce people to girl idol groups some folks may start looking at you all funny & probably start imagining you in a Pedobear suit. Again, that’s my own experience, I don’t know about the rest of you out there.
As for whether this is going too far? I think that’s subjective. It depends on how high (or low) you have your bar set for fan service and how easily you’re entertained by it. Come on, it’s idol music. Don’t expect substance over style.
And yes, there is a song attached to this video (although the visuals really overpower it) and while it may be structured like a nursery rhyme and isn’t the most complex in the world, it’s catchy and fun and I like it. Probably surprising to some considering I don’t actually listen to AKB as much as I do H!P. But catchy pop is catchy pop no matter who is singing it.