‘Everyday, Katchyusha’: A Step Forward, A Look Back

After the understated-but-powerful ‘Sakura no Ki ni Narou’, fans have been anticipating the upcoming summer single. Every major AKB release in the summer have been energetic blockbusters: ‘BINGO!’, ‘Namida Surprise’, and ‘Ponytail to Shushu’ were all great songs to kick off the season, and ‘Everyday Katchuusha’ is another first-rate addition that practically beckons summer to your doorstep.


Even for an upbeat idol song, ‘Everyday, Katchyusha’ has a surprising amount of tenacity and vigor. When put up side by side with the elegant ‘Ponytail to Shushu’, ‘Everyday, Katchyusha’ is almost boisterous in comparison. While ‘Ponytail’ invites you to a fun and pleasant day at the beach, ‘Katchyusha’ grabs you by the arm and drags you there. Every aspect of the song has a more assertive and kinetic quality than usual, from the choral aspect of the overlaying vocals to the downright zany musical track. There’s more than enough here for the song to stand out, even with its voluminous discography.

The PV is directed by filmmaker Katsuyuki Motohiro, best known for the mega-hit action series ‘Bayside Shakedown’, but also for his quirky comedies like ‘Summer Time Machine Blues’ and ‘Space Travelers’. Unfortunately, the film elements he’s known for has a faint presence in this PV, and opts for a very ambitious concept that I felt wasn’t able to come to full fruition. The music video is essentially pieces of visuals and narratives taken from a wide variety of past AKB PV releases, which were then rearranged and completely re-shot to fit into one universe. The end product is a fun game of “catch that reference”, but any sense of coherence in the PV is left in the dust. There’s too many starkly different things going on to have any fluidity in the progression of events leading up to the ending, leaving just the core themes and no real explanation.

Despite the choppy narrative, the PV is an impressive assortment of some stellar visuals. Strangely enough, the opening shot of Maeda Atsuko pedaling down the street for a over a minute before the song even starts became one of the most defining and beautiful shots of the PV. The cinematography is amazingly diverse and expressive, much of it in tune with bringing the setting of Guam to life. ‘Ponytail to Shushu'(also set in Guam) was my favorite PV of 2010, and while I would admit that ‘Katchyusha’ falls a bit short, there’s still a lot to like. Since AKB has reached their mainstream audience, I feel like they’re naturally going further into experimental territory, which is both exciting and terrifying. All of AKB’s releases since 2010 have offered more variety than I ever thought possible from one idol group, and I anxiously await the next.

SONG

PV

‘Everyday, Katchyusha’
AKB48
Releases May 25th, 2011

Dae

About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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5 comments

  1. The mash-up of references to past PVs is a bold move, indeed, but certainly not the most memorable idea. I bet new fans won’t find the PV as fascinating. It’s certainly more aimed at the long-time fans who are able to point out all the little nods to akb’s older works.

    btw, Dae, I recently read up about kojima haruna fainting during an episode of mechaike. Apparently, she didn’t even sleep the entire day before due to work and the other girls were very calm about her fainting as if it were a natural occurrence. Clearly, the idol world is a tough business when fainting is considered the norm. I’m hoping to hear your thoughts as well as everyone else’s about this subject on the next podcast.

  2. I have finally seen all three versions of the pv:
    1). The original pv is good. Its a solid video consisting of moments from past pvs. Although it doesnt really bring anything new to pv, its nice to see paying homage to their other singles.
    2). The dance pv I kind of perfer over the original in the sense that there are much more screen time for the rest of the members. Although it limits the concept of alluding to older pvs, I do not mind being able to see more of the members which personally I forgot were in the video ( such as yamamoto sayaka or even mayo).
    3). The drama version is decent. The reason why I may not care much for it is to the fact after seeing the original pv dozens of time, do I really need to what is really going on behind each scene? However, it does a solid job of piecing things together if anyone was confused.
    In regards to the Kojima incident, I am hurt that one of my oshi’s was involved but also not surprised by it at all. Considering that these girls are always filming something so there is something for us to watch almost everyday on top of working at the theater, doing concerts and also making appearances at numerous events, these girls are working harder than most people I know. However, how much can each of them take while the demand of them continues to rise and their popularity elevates? IMO, I believe there is probably more to come with these accidents smh

    • Yeah, the fact that two additional versions were created aids my perspective that the original PV just couldn’t do everything that it wanted to do. The ‘dance version’ and ‘drama version’ each had a substantial amount of new footage that gave the PV a much needed fleshing out. I know that making three PVs was probably conceived from the very beginning, but they look like the result of having too much footage to fit into the song.

  3. Casual fans will probably struggle with all of the references but I think that there’s just enough underlying story so that they won’t be left completely cold.

    The song itself is great, I much prefer this sort of song to songs like Sakura but I understand that you need a bit of variety (among other reasons). AKB48 always seem to pull out all of the stops on their summer songs and this year looks to be no exception.

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