NMB48 Take Some Inspiration From Afilia Saga East?

First up, I do not suggest watching the above video at work, with others around, etc so don’t say I didn’t warn you. I do however suggest that you watch it before reading this post any further because otherwise nothing is going to make any sense to you. For those of you who have taken the time to watch Afilia Saga East’s PV for “La*La*La Revolution”, perhaps you already know where I’m going with this. Find out if you’re right by reading on after the break.

 

Before I get into my actual points, let me just give a brief background to how this post came about. I very recently started to take an interest in the maid themed idol group Afilia Saga East (click that link if you wish to know more about them) after some random searching on Google and Youtube. I ended up coming across the rather fantastic (am I right guys?) PV that you see above. However, while watching it I couldn’t help but think “Hey, isn’t this a bit too similar to NMB48’s Nagiichi PV?”. Upon closer inspection the PVs do share a fair number of similarities. Here is NMB’s “Nagiichi” PV for comparison (apologies for the annoying karaoke):

Okay so let’s get the obvious out of the way first; both are summer PVs, both feature the members of each group wearing bikinis and both are awesome. I would hope that this much we can agree on. I would also hope that after watching both PVs we can all see some similarities between two. For those of us with our heads firmly buried in the sand, allow me to point out a few of the more obvious ones.

To kick things off, see that pier in the beginning of the Afilia Saga East PV? That’s the same pier that NMB are running down in their “Nagiichi” PV. The majority of the beach shots we see in each PV? I’m not 100% certain but I would bet pizzas on that being the exact same beach. Those are the two most obvious similarities between the two PVs which I guess is to be expected since both were filmed in Okinawa. You can pretty much disregard these to some extent because really, how many piers and beaches can there be in Okinawa right?

Where things start to get a bit more interesting is that both PVs make (albeit rather brief) use of various underwater camera shots. Granted neither PV really focuses too heavily on this but I felt it was worth pointing out. Afilia Saga East’s underwater shots are by the nature of the group a lot more pervy than NMB48’s and as a result serve a rather different purpose. One could argue that this is a somewhat loose comparison but on the whole both sets of shots are pretty similar, at least in the base concept.

Both PVs also feature shots of idols being driven around in cars because why the hell not right? While this is a very flashy affair in NMB’s PV, Afilia Saga East unfortunately had to go with a much more budget option. Still, the concepts are fairly similar in that some dude is driving idols to a beach in their car and the idols are acting all flirty and fun-loving while it’s going on. I dunno man, these are a lot of similarities.

The last point I’d like us to make note of is that both PVs feature girls from each group doing random shit away from the beach. I concede that this is probably the loosest comparison that I’ve tried to make so far but when framed within the context of everything you can’t help but raise an eyebrow. Massages and lounging by the pool versus playing with a bubble gun and eating watermelon is a pretty stark difference but again, the base concept is just a bit too similar.

Now after having read all of that I’m sure many of you think I’m going to start accusing people of ripping off others’ ideas. That’s not my intention but I would like to point out that Afilia Saga East released their PV last year. Granted the PVs don’t look incredibly similar, which is completely down to production budget but it does provide some food for thought. Again, I’m not accusing anyone of anything but it is rather interesting just how similar a lot of the content in both PVs is.

So what are your thoughts? Pure coincidence or is there some borrowing of ideas going on here? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

Garry

*Bonus* Afilia Saga East – “La*La*La Revolution ~Another Ver.~” PV

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New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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2 comments

  1. Coming from someone who enjoyed Hello!Project’s Haromoni episodes in the past, and AKBingo, Shuukan, and AKB’s many other shows. You see a similar formula used in a lot of idol related media. Dokkiri, shaved ice eating relays, cosplay, sports festivals, and so on.

    Alo Hello 3 (I think it was this one) had Momusu members paired up and dropped off in various locations around Hawaii and they had to use English to travel and ask for directions. Nemousu Terebi’s SP in Hong Kong had members using Cantonese to barter. While these two instances had very different objectives, the basic formula of forcing idols outside their comfort zone and using a foreign language to accomplish a goal is the same.

    I wouldn’t say that the PV’s are borrowing ideas. I would say that there are basic formulas that all idol groups rely on, which tends to cause a noticeable overlap when comparing their media.

  2. Hmmm, they both share broad strokes of similarities but in the end, I would say that they’re plenty different. And in summer PVs featuring beaches and bikinis, it’s the details that make the difference.

    I have no idea if that beach or particular pier is famous in Okinawa, but if NMB producers were really looking at AFE’s PV for ideas, I believe that was all they took from it. The car scenes in both were largely inconsequential to the PV, and I see underwater shots when idols are swimming/playing in the water as a practical must for a typical director(though SKE’s Pareo underwater shots still stand as undisputed champion).

    It’s much easier to draw the speculation of shared ideas if there were shot-for-shot replications or similar PV structuring, but everything is so shuffled and have totally different shooting styles (NMB on wide shots and ASE on close-ups) that it does seem more like coincidence more than anything else. There are a number of conventions that idol PVs follow closely, and beach PVs have a fairly specific(and limited) set of things to include.

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