HKT48 1st Single

Release Date: March 20, 2013

Track Listing

  1. Suki! Suki! Skip!
  2. Onegai Valentine
  3. Kataomoi no Karaage (Type A)
  4. Ima ga Ichiban (Type B)
  5. Seifuku no Bambi (Type C)
  6. Kireigoto demo Ii Janai ka? (Theatre)

Review

Suki! Suki! Skip! Isn’t that just the most precious, cutesy-wootsy, diabetically sweet title you’ve ever heard? All they need to do is thrown in a fairy princess and some rainbow bunnies and this single will be sweet enough to rot my teeth!

Well, I should follow my own advice and never judge a song by its title. And I’m not going to put down Suki! Suki! Skip! just for having a title too adorable for my cynical tastes! Oh no, there are many other things I’m going put down about this single! But we’ll get to them later.

HKT48, the latest XXX48 group to debut from the gargantuan idol business that is AKS, has finally gotten around to releasing some actual music with Suki! Suki! Skip! It only took two years! I swear I feel like this group has been lurking around for ages not doing anything so it’s nice that Aki-P was finally able to scrape some music together for the group to debut with.

And when I say he was able to scrape together some music, I mean that this single sounds like it was scraped together from the most generic songs of AKB48/SKE48/NMB48 music.

The A-side Suki! Suki! Skip! is generic in the safest and most marketable way possible. It’s in that traditional kinda-happy-but-not-too-happy AKB48 bland song in the same vein of Gingham Check or Chance no Juban. As someone who has a less than optimistic opinion towards this type of song that stems from having heard it a bajillion times, Suki! Suki! Skip! did not impress me.

It’s not a bad song and doesn’t infuriate me as much as some AKB48 songs but it sounds a lot like a leftover from SKE48’s reject pile. It’s safe for a debut single in that it doesn’t try any new styles or a tone that’s alienating for fans and thus will make money. Lots and lots of money. HKT48’s debut at #1 on the charts solidifies that there are plenty of people out there who either A) Liked the single’s music enough to buy it and/or B) Really wanted them lottery tickets.

The B-side, Onegai Valentine, isn’t much better. In fact, I think I like this song even less than I liked Suki! Suki! Skip! While S! S! S! was underwhelming for me, Onegai Valentine borders on irritatingly bland and forgettably bland. Again, it’s a safe song that can fit into any AKS single; you can practically guess how the verses are going to sound after that eerily familiar opening instrumental plays through.

Onegai Valentine was predictable and underwhelming for me; even Suki! Suki! Skip! had more going on than this song does. It’s catchy but not too catchy, happy but not too happy, and has that goddamn instrumental that I feel like I’ve heard in a bajillion AKB48 songs. A big part of why I don’t like Onegai Valentine is obviously that I just dislike the generic happy style of music in it. If you’re not like me and music of this nature is your jam, you’ll get along just fine with Onegai Valentine.

Next song up is Kataomoi no Karaage, the track included on the Type A Edition of Suki! Suki! Skip! What’s interesting about this song is that it’s going to be the ending theme for the Japanese dub of immensely popular children’s show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I find that kind of interesting because it makes me wonder if they’re still going to keep the original theme in the opening or change that up to.

However, the fact that this song is now being featured in a series popular with both children and adults is the only interesting thing about this song. Kataomoi no Karaage isn’t quite as forgettable as Onegai Valentine but it’s not very musically grabbing. I had to listen to this track a few times before I could even develop an opinion about it because I literally couldn’t remember what it sounded like. And once I’m finished typing this review, I’ll probably forget about it again!

Type B’s track is Ima ga Ichiban. If you’re familiar with AKB48’s Janken songs, you might notice that Ima ga Ichiban could blend in perfectly alongside Chance no Juban, Ue Kara Mariko and Eien Pressure. Well, the song isn’t about Shinoda Mariko so maybe not Ue Kara Mariko so much. But yeah, I’m getting some heavy Janken song-vibes from this song and as someone who is not very fond of the Janken songs, I’m not a huge fan of Ima ga Ichiban.

Much like the other songs I’ve covered so far in this review, the biggest problem I have with Ima ga Ichiban is that it takes no chances musically. I’m not asking for a remake of Perfume’s edge but would it kill you to be just a little bit creative, Aki-P? Maybe throw in a key change? Some minor notes? Oh wait, that might not sell with fans, right? Oh, silly me! I forget I’m reviewing an idol group! They couldn’t dare deviate too far from the bland-song formula on their debut single!

Next up on Nia’s descent into blandness is Seifuku no Bambi, Limited C’s track. This single sure is fond of ridiculously sweet and adorable song titles, isn’t it? Unlike Ima ga Ichiban, which sounded like a cheap rehash of a Janken song, Seifuku no Bambi sounds like a cheap rehash of a Team B song! I even hear some of Sashihara Rino’s Soredemo Suki da yo in the song’s chorus.

It’s the first song on the single in which I can actually remember some of the song… so yay I guess? But only because the chorus is annoyingly catchy and the rest of the song is cute and adorable enough to stick in your head much like a wet lollipop can stick in your hair. Seifuku no Bambi is a combination of ludicrously bland and ludicrously cute, a combination which I do not enjoy. While it is slightly less bland-sounding than everything else I’ve reviewed on this single, it’s still a pretty boring and uninspired song. Next please!

Wrapping up the single on the Theatre Edition is Kireigoto demo Ii Janai ka? which is actually not an upbeat song! Who would have thought it would be possible? Nonetheless, Kireigoto demo Ii Janai ka is still a bland song but unlike the other five bland songs on this vortex of blandness disguised as an HKT48 single, this one has little to no energy. With the other songs, there was a pinch of energy thrown into them but this song sounds dead.

And you know what this song sounds like a rip-off of? AKB48’s So Long! another song on my growing list of bland songs that I loathe from the AKS franchise as a whole. Seriously, I should make a flipping list by now. Kireigoto demo Ii Janai Ka’s biggest misstep is that it lacks energy; it’s downbeat and makes me want to fall asleep. Seriously, you could throw this onto an AKB48 single and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Well, if Suki! Suki! Skip! is the type of single that HKT48 is going to offer from now on, I think I can pretty safely pass this group up on my review list. The biggest flaw of Suki! Suki! Skip as an entire single is that none of the songs stand out. They all blend together and sound the same; if you played them one after the other for me, wouldn’t be able to identify which one was which. If you’re a fan of bland and uninspired songs that could easily slide into an AKB48/SKE48/NMB48 single, I think you’ll enjoy Suki! Suki! Skip! Well, apparently 241,132 people liked this single enough to buy it… so I’ll just retreat back into my corner of hatred for bland songs.