This is the second time that AKB’s unofficial subgroup “MINT” will have had a song accompany a major single. I was initially extremely skeptical of this b-side, because a few pictures of the members performing the song in their costumes, and they looked ridiculous. Having loved MINT’s image and song from “Kimi ni Tsuite”, I was left wondering what led to the drastically unconventional style portrayed in their new outfits.
I’ve tried to abstain from watching any of the accompanying b-side PVs until the official release date, but curiosity got the best of me with this one, and I’m relieved to say my doubts were put to rest when I saw the actual PV.
I don’t know what the cool kids do in Japan, but the video is a spitting image of an elaborate Williamsburg hipster party(without the grunge, poor lighting, and that it’s not taking place at 4 in the morning). A packed apartment room full of dancing young adults wearing funky patterns, high-heel sandals, and carrying wine glasses in the presence of a DJ pumping beats from a turntable can only indicate that there’s a party thrown by hipsters with wealthy parents.
And as much as I despise free-loading hipsters, this rendition emulating their lifestyle is rather cute. As Japanese media often does, it can take anything and turn it into something clean and free of debauchery. As someone who appreciates the tongue-in-cheek kitschy aesthetic of all things indie, the video completely took me by surprise. This is new territory for AKB PVs, and it’s a fun one. Maeda Atsuko was always cute but she broke through new boundaries with Kiss Made 100 Mile. I haven’t been this captivated since seeing her in the Yasai Sisters PV. Maybe crazy outfits is her forte.
The song is appropriately less like an idol song, but catchy in its own right; the chorus has been ringing in my head all day. Even the melody and instrumentals carry some of that progressive indie flare with throwback references to 80’s and early 90’s American pop songs. Even if that wasn’t its intention, it’s something that screams for me to like.
But I have to say, without the context of the members being in a crowded party with a bunch of scene-sters, they look like fish out of water performing with those outfits.
‘Kiss Made 100 Mile’ (b-side to Sakura no Ki ni Narou)
AKB48 Team MINT
Releases February 16th, 2011