AKB48 has recently released their newest single titled “Green Flash”. With every single comes a boat load of songs that come based on what version you buy. For example, the Type-A version could have a song with a specific unit, while the Type-B version could have an exclusive song by SKE48. It all depends on which version you ultimately decide to pick up.
Each type of “Green Flash” single gives you two exclusive songs in addition to the title track. There are five versions of the single available: Type-A, Type-S, Type-N, Type-H, and the Theater Edition. If you catch on quick you'll notice that there is an exclusive song by SKE48 in the Type-S version, an exclusive song by HKT48 in the Type-H version, and so on.
But which songs out of this single are the best? Let me give my two cents. I won’t give any scores for each song, but rather just what comes to my mind when I play them.
AKB48 – “Green Flash”
Yes, the lead track has your favorite AKB48 senbatsu members rapping. They may not be as good as NERDHEAD or m.flo, but at least they’re trying right? Regarding the video, for a song that was supposed to center Kashiwagi Yuki and Kojima Haruna, you really don’t see them that much, compared to other members such as Matsui Jurina or Shimazaki Haruka.
Overall the song is pretty good. I get this half J-Pop vibe and half R&B vibe which has not been done too often with AKB48. The lyrics also give a very positive message of never giving up when times are tough, and never giving in to anxiety when it seems like the world is on your shoulders. Maybe I need to play this song a lot more. I have anxiety issues from things like work and graduate school applications, so yes this song does help me overcome anxiety issues.
AKB48 – “Majisuka Fight”
Okay, so maybe I got into the AKB48 scene a little late, and never took a look at the Majisuka Gakuen series. We are nearing the end of the 4th season, and yes, this is the opening song for Majisuka Gakuen 4. Does it fit the series as an opening song? It does its job.
To me, this sounds more like an opening for a detective drama than a drama where a 16-year-old idol beats the living hell out of the student hierarchy. This song may or may not wow you, but all in all it does its part as an opening theme.
You should also take a look at Majisuka Gakuen 4 if you never got the chance. Miyawaki Sakura does her best Christian Bale-like Batman impression throughout the whole series.
AKB48 – “Yankee Rock”
This is more like it. This song serves as the ending theme of Majisuka Gakuen 4, and is a lot more intense than its opening counterpart. The emphasis on electric guitar definitely gives this song a lot more adrenaline than “Majisuka Fight”. Heck, doesn’t this song make you feel like weight training at the gym or starting a fist fight outside a school?
This song could have served as both the opening and closing theme of Majisuka Gakuen 4, and I honestly wouldn’t be complaining.
AKB48 – “Haru no Hikari Chikadzuita Natsu”
Before I say anything about the song, have you noticed the lineup? This is an AKB48-only senbatsu that has no kennin members or members from different groups. No Yamamoto Sayaka, no Matsui Rena, no Miyawaki Sakura. Only AKB48 based members. This is kind of a big deal because this has not been done for a long time.
Overall, this is a bright, bubbly, synthesizer-oriented J-Pop song with Watanabe Mayu at center. You may mimic the dance choreography for giggles, but to me, it’s good to see Kitahara Rie and Minegishi Minami back in a 16-girl senbatsu lineup.
The strength of the song oddly does not come from the song, but rather the lineup. You have the up-an-coming members (Mukaichi Mion, Kawamoto Saya, Owada Nana, etc.), the faces of the franchise (Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, Shimazaki Haruka, etc.), and the early gen favorites mentioned earlier with Kitahara Rie and Minegishi Minami. This may not be the song that stands out, but the senbatsu lineup for the song sure does.
NMB48 – “Punkish”
Yamamoto Sayaka is a badass.
Yes, this is a Yamamoto Sayaka-centered NMB48 coupling song, and there’s a punk rock vibe that goes with it. It was kind of easy to figure that out with the song title “Punkish”, but the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I play this song is a mosh pit where everyone is pushing each other. Or maybe riots in the streets after a concert or something.
Usually some of the coupling songs can make it as full-fledged singles. SKE48 had theirs with “Escape”, since that was a coupling song with the “Kimi wo Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” janken single. NMB48’s “Punkish” is good enough to be its own single. This song is fun to play, it gives you a rush of energy, and it showcases how Yamamoto Sayaka is a badass.
The video looks like a punk rock-based version of “Kokoro no Placard”. At least, that’s the vibe I’m getting. But basically, if you love Yamamoto Sayaka, you will love this song.
Let me reiterate: Yamamoto Sayaka is a badass.
HKT48 – “Otona Ressha”
There seems to be a consistent trend with HKT48’s songs. It’s not that they all sound the same because no I’m not saying that. What I can say is this: this is your throwback idol group with most, if not all, of their songs sounding bright, bubbly, an easy to hear synthesizer and a guitar solo.
This song does not change this trend. Is the song bad? Absolutely not. This is what HKT48 does best. Maybe it is just me, but I am getting vibes of a brighter and bubblier “Hatsukoi Butterfly”. It’s fun and upbeat, and that’s really all I can say about it.
I am still waiting on HKT48 to get their own version of a single or coupling song like “UZA”, “Kamonegix”, “Seifuku no Mannequin”, or “Escape”, mind you.
SKE48 – “Sekai ga Naiteru Nara”
Whoa…what is going on?
I think the strength of this song comes from how twisted, dark and confusing the video is. Because the first thing that comes to mind when I’m playing the song is…a haunted house. I have no idea if this is just me, but if this song did not have a video, then that would be the first thing that comes to mind.
But there is a video, and yes it’s even creepier than a haunted house. You may have to watch the full video a few times to understand it, because it’s twisted, intense, and fun to watch.
This is one of the fast paced coupling songs and is pretty enjoyable in its own right. It isn’t the best song SKE48 has to offer (because “Escape” takes that title and it shouldn’t even be close), but it’s still a pretty good song.
AKB48 – “Hakimono to Kasa no Monogatari”
Here’s your piano ballad. It is a pretty soothing sounding song. Will you cry when you play it? Not exactly. The video however, might make you cry. The preview video is only over a minute long and I was almost tearing up.
We have heard our fair share of piano ballads and they seem to round out a set list of coupling songs. With the hard hitting “Punkish” and “Yankee Rock”, and the bubbly “Otona Ressha” and “Haru no Hikari Chikadzuita Natsu”, this song stays smack in the middle as a powerful ballad. This song is relaxing and tells a story.
This was also the theme song for NHK’s “Minna no Uta” program for a few months.
AKB48 Team 8 – “Aisatsu kara Hajimeyou”
The entire video takes place on a YouTube spinoff. This was a clever idea and gives you a vibe that shows the Team 8 idols are people too, who hang out with their friends and seem to do dorky things now and then.
The song itself is not terrible but it seems to be the weakest of all the other coupling songs. Again, this song is not bad, but it sounds a tad generic and doesn’t exactly stand out. Much like Team 8 themselves.
Probably the biggest reason why this song is a tad bland is because I can’t tie it in with anything else the few times I do listen to it. With the other coupling songs, it’s pretty easy to do that with or without a video. But if you are a Team 8 fan, you may find it pretty enjoyable.
That just about does it for “Green Flash” and its coupling songs. I am missing one song, “Hatsukoi no Oshibe”, but I don’t exactly have the song on me and the song doesn’t have a video attached to it. Also I don’t know a lot about Tentoumu Chu! or Kabutomu Chu!, but if hope that someone I know has the Theater Edition so I can play it one day.
Which song was your favorite? Which song did you dislike? Let us know in the comments below.
…but wait. Wait a minute.
Someone else had a release in March you know! She may not be classified as an “idol”, but she is a major staple in the J-Pop industry. Maybe she may not be as massive of a staple as AKB48, but still pretty powerful in her own right.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – “Mondai Girl”
Yes, I had to review Pamyu’s new single. I couldn’t pass this up, even if she isn’t tied with AKB48.
Let’s start with the song. There’s more of an 80s new wave vibe compared to some of her other hits. This is by no means a “PONPONPON” or an “Invader Invader”, but it’s still fun to listen to. Honestly, this song could very well fit in the 80s if Kyary were born in 1963.
As for the video, it’s just as wild as her other works. It does seem like Kyary is maturing, as she is no longer that weird, childish girl when we first saw her in “PONPONPON”. There’s honestly a bit more risqué things here and there, such as censoring what seems to be a nude Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
I wish Kyary had more songs like this, with the 80s style new wave vibe. This seems to be a staple that can work for her, and she can be like Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons or something. Kyary certainly can pull that off, with her own kawaii grotesque spin on things.
March has a boatload of new songs released, not only from AKB48 and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, but also from Nogizaka46 and SKE48 as well.
There’s a lot to look forward to!