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AKB48’s Heavy Rotation PV: Is there such a thing as too much fan service? August 1, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in AKB48, Jpop.
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Now, as an idol fan I’m no stranger to fan service. For example GAM’s Melodies comes immediately to mind. Even AKB48’s last PV for Ponytail to Chouchou laid on the fan service pretty thick with their bikinis (and opening scene), but Heavy Rotation takes it quite a bit farther…

(Triple Edit: Replaced embedded video as AKB48 now as an official Youtube channel with PV’s.) I have taken the liberty of capping what I thought to be some of the most offending scenes in my opinion:

So, we start off the PV with you, the viewer, playing the role of a peeping tom watching her undress. Classy.

From which we segue into a lingerie pillow fight. A little better.

This cap isn’t that significant save for the fact that you have a fantastic shot of the girl who you were just peeping on’s derriere.

Classic up-skirt shot. Nothing too shocking here.

Blurry cap is blurry. >< The other "provocative" outfit the girls wear in this PV is sort of a mix between a maid's uniform and a cat suit. Where in the lingerie the theme seemed to center around the bedroom, the catsuits seem to be connected with a dining room sort of setting.

That must be really good. I’ll take whatever she’s having.

I mean, really? With all the sales that this group gets you think the management could spring to buy enough cupcakes for all the girls? What cheapskates!

Maybe it is time that AKB48 repeal their “no boyfriend” rule, just look what it is making these poor girls do!

Wow, okay, maybe I could understand that the reason their management didn’t buy a whole bunch of cupcakes was because they didn’t want the girls to gorge themselves on them. That seems reasonable. But not supplying enough bathtubs? That’s some seriously greedy penny pinching!

Okay, I take it back, let the “no boyfriend” rule stand… =D

Now, honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with all the examples that I’ve provided above. While I think it’s a little much that they all can be found in a single PV, they can all be pretty much labeled as done in good fun. The next example, not so much.

Very briefly around 2:41 you get to see who I believe to be Tomomi Itano with a little bit of whip cream on her face. Observe:

Now, I know that is whip cream on her face, but that is certainly not what it looks like to me. Now, it might just be that I have a perverse mind, but when that little shot of her is shown during the PV it doesn’t make me think, “Oh silly girl! You are oh so messy when you eat cupcakes!,” but rather how she makes a mess during other activities. You never get to see her take a big bite out of a cupcake or cookie or what-have-you. No, you just she her there, on her hands and knees giving you a mischievous smile with white stuff all over her face.

Now, this whole thing could just be my imagination, but that sure as heck doesn’t mean I have to like what it could be implying. I understand that idols are a big sex symbol, I mean the whole Alo-Hello! series is nothing more than a thinly veiled facade to watch your favorite Hello! Project idol running around Hawaiian beaches in a skimpy bikini, but there is a difference, and that difference is restraint. The Alo-Hello! series, and even the bikini frolicking of Ponytail to Chouchou, are all done with a healthy does a playfulness that leaves quite a bit to the imagination. Honestly, this is one of the main reasons that I enjoy Japanese idols. While I wouldn’t call it any less sexual than the popular music and personalities we have here in the United States, it certainly is a different type of sexuality.

Now, I honestly hope that what I believe that scene looks like wasn’t intentional by the director, and that I am horribly off base in my ranting. I really truly do, because if it really was intentional, then I must say I’m rather disgusted. For idols who are so prized on their pureness to be displayed in such a manner is almost insulting. I’m moderately upset about this, and the only thing I know about that girl is that she announced her 19th birthday at AX. If this were Aya, or Risa, or Ai, I couldn’t even imagine how upset I would feel. Then again, I might just be a perverted minded Puritan.