Many of you have heard the news if you’ve been following AKB48 and their newest single, ‘Beginner’. It was announced by a King Records rep at the Tokyo Aki Matsuri concert event that the ‘Beginner’ PV premiered at the Janken Pon Taikai will no longer represent the single because of the supposedly shocking imagery and violence depicted. This is a sucker punch from left field; especially since we’re hearing something like this after King Records seemingly had little problem releasing ‘Heavy Rotation’ which depicted members frolicking in lingerie and cat ears, smearing cake over their face.
It was announced at the Matsuri event that the originally planned PV for ‘Beginner’ will not be shipped in the DVDs that accompany the singles, and could very well never be released in any form. What was my most anticipated AKB single release just turned around and became the biggest disappointment. It’s not even about the PV itself; it’s about the mistake of showing it in its full and complete form in front of an audience, letting the buzz grow among consumers and take pre-orders, and then taking it back just two weeks before it releases. You just don’t do it. To an extent I feel genuinely swindled for having shelled out the money simply because what I thought I was buying at the time when I made the pre-orders is now not the case.
The single itself loses some of its bite as a result, and a general negative atmosphere is now cast over the release. I still love the song and the accompanying B-tracks, but knowing that any kind of original content, especially something significant like a music video, is being withdrawn out of fear is just a baffling blunder.