‘Flying Get’: A Whole Lot of Something

AKB singles this year have been predictable so far. As early as 2009, AKB has been laying down a format and timetable for their single releases: a spring sakura-related single, a summer single, an election single, an autumn unorthodox single, and a winter janken single. They’ve been going down the checklist, replicating and amplifying the success of 2010, and they’ve been succeeding. AKB started off the year with a million-seller ‘Sakura no Ki ni Narou’, and the following summer release ‘Everyday, Katchuusha’ has sold even more. Ecstatic with the releases so far, 2011’s answer to ‘Heavy Rotation’ was something I’ve been looking forward to; Unfortunately, ‘Flying Get’ just couldn’t live up to those expectations.

But that’s not to say the song was a disappointment; I actually enjoyed it a lot. It’s brash, celebratory, and boastful; a sound that I felt was a great entry to AKB’s lineup. It’s been likened to early Morning Musume tracks to which I agree to an extent, but I feel like ‘Flying Get’ has an attitude that’s distinctively its own. The song starts at full throttle and powers through to the end—this unrestrained and relentless quality gave it an exciting edge that kept me coming back. ‘Flying Get’ is a party; a fast, loud blur that ends too soon, making you want to jump right back into it again.

It’s the other elements of this release that just didn’t add up for me. I’ve expressed my worries about the uncut PV being 18 minutes long before on the podcast, and they were all realized when it was finally revealed. The cinematics didn’t enrich the music video; instead, they were far too drawn out and lacking any real entertainment value. The intro was especially quite a drag to get through until the actual PV kicked in, which was by contrast an incredibly fast-moving and busy video. I did enjoy the world of cheesy 80’s sci-fi mixed with extravagant Chinese design elements, and the set was absolutely beautiful, but it was clear that the director just couldn’t execute the narrative in a dynamic or fresh way that lived up to its cool concept.

‘Flying Get’s choreography was also lackluster. It was a dance that, like the video, didn’t enhance the song and couldn’t carry the energy that ‘Flying Get’ had impressed me with. While the costumes looked decadent and beautifully ornate, the entirely gold color scheme was an eye-sore. Add the messily thrown-together dance stage created for the PV and it becomes a lukewarm representation of a colorful song.

There was a lot going against this release. The drama that ‘Flying Get’ featured in was a ratings flop and the choreography, costumes, even the covers brought on criticism long before its release, and I don’t think that a decent PV with a lot of boring added footage will be enough to bring excitement back to the table for a lot of fans. Of course a lot of this vocal criticism probably wouldn’t have surfaced if AKB wasn’t the behemoth it is today with its sturdy track record, but any kind of tremor at this stage is going to cause a lot of wobbling. ‘Flying Get’ isn’t the second coming of ‘Heavy Rotation’, but it’s a solid song that’s far from their worst.

If AKB is sticking to 2010’s rubric, the next single should be another unconventional one. Since I found ‘River’ and ‘Beginner’ to be among their most creative songs, their next release is really my most anticipated one. Let’s go!

SONG

PV

‘Flying Get’
AKB48
Releases August 24th, 2011

Dae

About Dae Lee

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

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6 comments

  1. Okay, let’s start with the positives; I really like the song……..and that’s it. Oh boy, this isn’t really off to the best of starts is it?

    Catchy and overall solid song aside the PV was umm, not good shall we say. I suppose I should state that I’ve only seen the short version but that’s mostly because I already didn’t like the concept so having to sit through a further 14 minutes of the same really wasn’t an appealing prospect.

    If the director was going for 80s martial art movie then they certainly pulled it off. However I think that’s the inherent problem of the PV; when you set it up to be like an 80s martial art movie it takes a lot to actually make it new and interesting. As a PV for just about any other group I’d say it’s passable. As a PV for the titan of the idol world that is AKB48 it just doesn’t live up to past outings.

    Hopefully this will be this year’s Chance no Junban and not a sign of things to come.

  2. I think the song is great. The PV is off though. I actually like the gold costumes, they’re really cute when you get past the color. It took me a few times watching the PV to accept it though. People shouldn’t have to be won over like that though, so its differentely a poor choice.

    I think more so than the color of the costumes, the color of the stage and lighting of the set is disgusting with the costumes. The dance is something I don’t agree on, I think its a great dance. Especially at the chorus part.

    I thought it was nice to see AKB in fighting scenes like that, but I got bored and turned off by it after it settled down to Maeda vs Oshima. That was whack and they stopped showing the girls dancing as much. I want to see more of the girls, singing, dancing, smiling, screen time for more faces, rather than have it turn into a poorly choreographed martial arts show between ms.1 and 2.

    I liked that Amina got a little section, even if it was a nano second long. lol

  3. Well, the song is great but seriously the PV bored the hell out of me. This reminds me of Chance no Junban. I just could not watch the PV all the way through. Same thing happened to me here even with the short version. I don’t think this is a sign of things to come just a mistake.

  4. Hmm, I suppose in a way it shows the strength of AKB, that criticism if coming over what is a pretty good song and what is, in just the song version, a half decent PV.

    As for the PV itself, well two things really, the outfits for the dance secitons are nice but the color is not, all the gold sort of turns it into a shiny eyesore, AKB has had it’s share of colorful PV’s but not a bloock of gold which make everything sort of blur for me, oddly changing the outfits to red, and them blue has improved things in my opinion but it does perhaps show that AKB management maybe figured that gold in that quantity did not work.

    Something I was thinking about however, especially where the extended PV is concerened is about, almost the disparity in rankings to screen time. Yuki is perhpas one of the better examples of this, in performances before and and the dance section in the PV you do almost get a top 3 feeling with Yuki joining the Yuko/Acchan party but get to the extra footage and Yuki finds herself with the other ‘minions’ of those lowly ranks 3-6…. yeah these girls get completly shafted in this PV (though it was nice to see a bit more of the lower rankers) perhaps in other PV it would not be such a bother to me but this is the election PV, surely Yukirin, Mariko, Mayu, Haruna should be given more of a chance to shine, then say Jurina(nothing against her) who got to dominate her table and have more speaking to do then any of the ‘Kami 7’ girls

    of course this is not the only example, Takamina sort of dissapers in this while other Aki-P favorites still get alot of time as does Mariko, Rena is still second fiddle to Jurina and perhpas always will be whatever the two of them rank…..

    On to better news though, yet again I am impressed by the undergirls song, the song itself is again nice and the idea for a rolling shot PV was nice and original, I like Une-chan as the lead actually, almost I would say having the ‘mum’ role in this PV which sort of really worked along with so many other things adding up to a good all round experience. Special mentions to Churi (I expected her to be good though) Moeno and Komorin creating one of the sweetest ‘odd couples’ I’ve seen in a PV for a while, Sumire in a bikini (damn I swear that girl gets pretttier every day) with an honourable mention to Minarun, the cool shirts that they had with thier nickmanes on them and the fails that were kept in, like Fujie Reina’s head band slip which she covered for by having a little smile at the camera and getting it out of the way!

  5. The girls of akb48 swingin’ swords and kickin ass is a pretty damn awesome concept. It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t perfectly executed. The aerial showdown between maeda and yuko was anti-climatic, but EPIC… in a cheesy, old school, b-rated kung fu flick way. I get that the whole idea was meant to be some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody of horrible kung fu movies, but part of the problem is that they incorporated too much of the awfulness and not enough of their own sensibilities in making a good PV. It’s shocking at how sloppy the entire PV feels, but then again, maybe that’s what they were going for.

    As for the outfits, I actually don’t mind the gold too much (Although, I do think gold can be pretty tacky at times). What I especially admire about their outfits is that they incorporated a bit of the traditional chinese dress into the design. Kudos to the designer for creatively working with the concept in mind.

    Overall, awesome song but an odd PV. I honestly don’t hate it too much if I approach it as a PV that was intended to be bad, conceptually. I hope that makes sense. Choreography still sucks, though. There’s no way they intended that.

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