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.
Releases May 25th, 2011