SKE48’s B-sides are Peculiar.

SKE’s 4th single had a great, lively, energetic PV.  Later I came to realize that they had created 3 other PVs for the accompanying B-side tracks as well.  As a whole, they are less impressive than ‘1, 2, 3, 4 Yoroshiku!’ but it’s really nothing to complain about as having music videos for B-sides is always a luxury.  What this single provides is a smorgasbord of different concepts that make for a very colorful mix of PVs.

Let’s start with “The Weird”:

This PV for ‘Two Roses‘ is something I never, ever expected to see. The song was created to promote Microsoft’s game peripheral Kinect, and while there’s no clear connection in the PV, it somehow makes sense. The visuals are striking, fantastical and haunting but it severely lacks the kinetic element(HAHA GET IT?) that would really make it a sight to behold. Nearly everything is static, and looks like it would serve better as a photoshoot than a video. I would guess that whoever came up with this concept has a very strong background in fashion photography. It’s very pretty and visceral nonetheless.  The last shot is probably the most interesting and disturbing scene that lingered in my mind long afterward.

Next is what I call “The Vanilla”:

Everything about this song, ‘Cosmos no Kioku‘, and PV is pretty vanilla. It’s nice, but ultimately forgettable. The easygoing melody lacked any kind of punch or points of interest for me to grab onto, and the PV was plagued with slow-motion shots, much like ‘Two Roses’. Slow motion can be great if used wisely, but in instances like this, my interest slowed down with it.

The last available PV is my favorite, “The Fun”:

Here is ‘Seishun wa Hazukashii‘. Sure, it starts with the most recognizable and generic chant ever, but there’s a reason that particular cheer is used so much: it works. I enjoyed this song and PV more than the others here. The outfits and choreography were the best represented and offered the most dynamic PV. Watching it again, it may also have to do with Matsui Rena and Yagami Kumi being in it.

With the exception of ‘Two Roses’, it’s clear that the budget was very tight; which I don’t see as a big issue, as I’m glad we’re getting any supplementary PVs at all.

But as songs themselves, I found them lacking overall compared to their A-side counterpart.  The culprit may be that I’ve gotten used to AKB’s terrific track record concerning B-sides and Undergirls’ songs for the past several singles.

Nevertheless, it’s a big step forward from SKE48 to have such a substantial package like this when they’re only at their 4th major single. ‘1,2,3,4 Yoroshiku’ is one of the most impressive songs and PVs to be released this year. What a great time to be an idol fan.


About Dae Lee

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

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