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AKB48’s Uncensored “Beginner” PV June 13, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in AKB48, Jpop.
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You are now reading the blog of someone with a legitimate college degree. Yay! Just this last week I finally finished four long years of undergraduate education! Oh, and before anyone asks, no, that doesn’t mean the quality of my posts here will go up…😀

What it does mean though, is that I should be able to get back into the regular routine of making at least one post per week. I start work next Monday, but that shouldn’t have any major impact on here, something I’m very glad of.

So, to start back off I wanted to take a look at something that finally surfaced about a month ago. The mysterious “too violent” original PV for AKB48’s “Beginner!”


Video credits: Tokyohive

Honestly, that seems like a neat idea that was horribly, horribly executed. The whole crazy matrix infused PSPs bringing the girls into a video game is a legitimately cool premise, but did we really need to see some of the girls get brutally killed? Personally I found it a bit much.

I would have to say that that was probably why this version was “banned” in the first place. Supposedly it was because it was “too violent,” but save for Kojima Haruna’s head literally being cut in half, I would say most of this really isn’t all that explicitly violent.

Actually, the worst part of this scene was how her limp body slumped down onto the floor. More than a little unsettling.

Really, though, who actually wants to see their favorite idols get smashed to death? Or multiply impaled? Or really, just hurt in anyway? I frankly just can’t see any appeal in this. I’m not even really a big fan of any of these girls and I don’t enjoy seeing this kind of stuff. It just comes across as truly bizarre.

People love their idols. Sometimes to a startling degree even. Which is why I have such a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that this PV would willingly show such harm befalling them. Who really thought it would be a good idea to show them getting killed?

Oh, don't worry about her. She just really doesn't like that flavor of gatorade.

I mean, I can kind of see what they were trying to do, but I think they really went far too overboard on the artistic side of things. These are idols for gosh sakes, they don’t have to be edgy. There’s no reason to push the envelope. Really, they didn’t have to stop the song in the middle so that Acchan could scream out in agony and bleed profusely.

0_o

And, frankly, I wished they hadn’t.

For me, idols should be about happiness. Now that doesn’t mean all-genki-all-the-time, as a nice ballad can still be soothing, or even a rockish number can cheer you up, but death and pain are two things I’d rather not associate with that term.

(I’ve noticed that I’ve tended to be a bit negative on AKB48. I don’t want to give the impression that I dislike the group or anything. I really don’t. Just as an outsider, so to speak, it’s easier to be taken by that which I find disagreeable. I’ll make an effort such that the next time I feature them it will be in a more positive fashion!)

Comments»

1. isilwentari - June 13, 2011

First comment!(?) I don’t think you’re just being negative – it’s the implied violence and the total lack of reaction that is the most disturbing here. Until Maeda’s screams we don’t really get any sense of the girls being in pain and that was why, at least for me, the sudden screaming and bleeding was so unsettling. It is a cool idea and I think it’s really inventive, but I agree. It’s a bit much. *shudder*

isilwentari - June 14, 2011

also: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

clocutron - June 14, 2011

Hey, isilwentari. That’s a good point about the lack of reaction. I mentioned in my comment about idols in horror movies but this is an element that makes this completely different…and much more disturbing for some reason.

Nights4Saturn - June 16, 2011

Wow isilwentari, I think you really hit it on the head there. The complete lack of emotion from anyone/thing in the video takes away a good deal of the humanity that we are used to seeing. That’s a great observation!

and thanks as well!😀

2. Paranoia675 - June 13, 2011

Haters gonna hate…
But really, if there was something to point out as disturbing this is it.

3. clocutron - June 14, 2011

Hmmm, I have to agree that this is really quite disturbing. I don’t think you’re being overly negative, just honest about your opinion. I also agree with your statement that it’s “a neat idea that was horribly, horribly executed.” Go figure.

Getting pulled into the game could’ve been done really well. I’m not sure why the makers of the PV thought any fan would enjoy seeing their oshimen brutally murdered. I’m not sure how this idea made it past the drawing board stages and actually got filmed.

I know there’s been a trend of idols starring in horror films but I still don’t see how you could make the leap to this. To be honest, I read your post but didn’t even bother watching the video (though I still might).

Congratulations on your graduation!!!! What was your major? I remember how good it felt back when I finished undergrad – hope you take some time to celebrate. So what’s next? Are you planning to get a job or go on to grad school? At any rate, congrats and good luck with whatever you decide to do next.

4. MTSayuRin - June 15, 2011

I don’t really want to comment anything on the PV, I just want to say (I hope that’s okay)… congratulations on graduating!

5. Nights4Saturn - June 16, 2011

@Paranoia675: True, but there are more disturbing things out there…

@clocutron: I definitely agree with you in trying to decipher how this ever got a green light. Heck, I think even if they did nearly the same thing but just had the girls fight against “Evil Otto” (instead of being slaughtered) it could have been pretty neat.

I think horror films are a bit different of a beast. For one, people expect to see that kind of stuff in a horror film, whereas in a music PV, not so much. Also, while I’ve only ever seen Mano’s horror films, she experienced no physical harm over the entirety of the two films. Sure, plenty of others did, and Mano was chased around and generally terrorized quite a bit, but she was completely unscathed at the end of the films (though one did have an open ending).

Thanks! My degree is in Computer Engineering. I actually already have a full time job lined up, and I start on Monday! So while I don’t have too much time to celebrate, I do look forward to finally getting some real money!

@MTSayuRin: Oooh, I *might* be able to make an exception for just this once…😉 Thanks!

6. Shawna - January 1, 2012

I honestly think this PV was brilliant. I mean, most of the fans of AKB besides young girls, are otakus. If you EVER heard boys talk about video games… its really disturbing. They talk about killing people like its nothing.There has been some instances in Japan where boys killed their friends because they spent so many hours playing video games that they couldn’t distinguish reality and video games. The whole point of the idols getting brutally killed is to let the audience feel kind of disturbed, because trust me, hardcore video gamers are not disturbed when they see people getting killed. When Aachan starts screaming she literally disconnects herself from the videogame and opens her eyes. There is a part in the lyrics that says you have to feel pain to feel life. I think it was really creative and the “violence” helped the audience realize that too much video games, which has almost been infused with Japanese culture, can be dangerous. Thats how I interpreted it. I don’t think it was too violent at all. I’m actually glad they did it.

Nights4Saturn - January 2, 2012

You bring up some really good points, Shawna. I can’t say I ever really thought of this as a sort of PSA against violent video games before, but you make a really good case for it. One thing that troubles me a bit, is that does it ever actually condemn the violence other than reveling in it’s shocking nature? For example at end the girls violently fight back against their digital antagonist to gain victory.


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