I’ve always said that in life, a lot of people end up liking things because they have some sort of personal connection. You like some food dish because it remind you of your childhood. You like a scent because it’s how your girlfriend smelled. You don’t like a show because it makes fun of something close to you. It works both ways. One of the reasons PVs are so important is because it gives viewers visual cue ins that we can playback in our minds while listening to the song.
Linking things in our mind is an amazing process. You could take something you felt completely strongly about and flip it the other way just by conditioning the situation.
One of the best examples I can give is with the AKB Overture. The first time I heard it was in AKB Theater at a live concert. I had just started liking AKB48 a month prior and since I was in Japan, I thought I’d stop by and try to catch a show. I only knew one member by name and that was the extent of my experience.
So of course, when this weird announcer came on claiming that “Angels have come down to perform for you!” I was rather put off. I’d had a moment where I questioned what I was doing. This is kind of kids stuff. Anyone who’s not Japanese can probably admit to having those first impressions. It was awkward and a little confusing.
But flash forward three years later. The Overture might be my favorite thing about an AKB Live Show. I think it’s been psychologically linked in my brain to happiness. Just hearing it and seeing other people get excited is something that immediately changes my mood. But more and more it’s been tied to other events that were positive experiences. Meeting Dae and Tron at Anime Expo. Sashihara dancing before the Shibuya AX Performances. Going to Japan with Tron and seeing Team B. It’s like this web of good feelings that keeps branching out.
I also think it’s one of the most unique things about AKB48. I mean if you solely look at the Overture for what it is. It’s lame. But being on the ins, it makes it a completely different thing. It kind of captures the entire soul of being a nerd, geek, otaku, wota, whatever you want to call it. For those of you who don’t get it, I hope one day you do cause it’s a whole new world.
Also, AKB48 has always been great at hyping up a show. Creating these unique moments live. One thing I’d love to see is a concert start completely pitch black. A spotlight come on and this weird awkward looking dude walk out on stage. Maybe he’s a little scrawny. Not very attractive. But then he picks up the mic and out of his mouth comes…..A-K-B FORTY EIGHT. It’s the guy who does the Overture but live. The lights go off and the video plays. Damn man, that’d be hype.