Yeah I know I’m late reviewing this, but I only JUST got around to watching it in full. I blame work and my idea to marathon Gundam 00 and most of Gundam Wing the last week or so 🙂
So now the new Team B has finally debuted, and I have to be honest…I’m conflicted. Let me get this out of the way first to avoid confusion; this is a frakking epic, fantastic stage. Every song shines in some way, and they are some of AKB’s best yet (how many times have I said that, I wonder), and is just more evidence that AKB continues to top itself with every new stage and single.
No, what has me conflicted is the new Team B itself. I’m just not totally sure about it just yet. I figure I’ll be perfectly fine with it soon enough and be back to my old “Team B is he best team EVER” ways in due time, but as of right now, it just seems…odd.
So before I get more in depth to the stage, lets go over the songs themselves. As always, the setlist, along with my opinions:
00.Zenza Girls / Romance kakurenbo
A solo song by one of those new Research Students I know nothing about. Huh….
Can someone please go over to Japan and remind the AKB management as to the role and purpose of the Research Students? They are supposed to be nothing more than stand-ins for Team Members who are away, until they are ready (or they get popular enough, I suppose) to join one of the teams as a full member. Nowadays, they get better treatment and exposure than full members. To give them a solo song though, that’s going to far. Its not a bad song, per se, and the RS singing in the first B5 performance is a decent singer, but still, its too much.
01.Yuuki no Hammer
I love the beginning of this song, very powerful in its presence. The mining theme is great as well, and is something I can imagine the old Team B doing easily. Its a very rockish song, and these are the kind of songs I instantly like. Overall, a damn good way to start the stage, and introduce the new Team.
02.Inseki no Kakuritsu
This one is like the opposite of the first song, its an upbeat pop tune that has a really nice pace and sound to it. This ones a winner in my books.
03.Ai no Stripper
Yeah, that seriously is the title of the song, no fooling. It does explain some parts of the performance, though. Funny thing is, this is pretty much my favorite song out of the entire stage. Its got a fantastic style to it, and sort of sounds like a mix of 70’s/80’s pop fused into one piece of awesomeness.
04.Theater no Megami
The title track of the stage. Its actually rather generic, but still a good listen.
05.Hatsu Koi yo, Konnichiwa (Sato S., Watanabe, Oku)
A decent unit song, but sadly nothing to write home about. Sumire is defenitly my favorite in this unit; she’s great in it, and I can really only laugh at the fact that once again, another H!P reject has gotten her chance to show just how talented she is via AKB48. Then again, H!P never has been a good judge of talent, I suppose.
06.Arashi no Yoru ni wa (Suzuki, Komori, Miyazaki,. Sato N.)
I guess you could say this is the stages “sexy” unit song. They make use of the stages back wall area for good effect, and the costumes are pretty awesome. Really though, the only member I like in this unit is Nacchi, and she’s pretty frakking awesome in this unit. Heck, she actually gets some decent solo-lines in this one, which is nice. I’m not a big Myao fan, Komori still dances like her spine is a metal rod or something (aka, she’s too damn stiff looking, and would it kill her to smile, or at least change facial expressions once in a while?), and I’m not too sure about Suzuki just yet. Other than that, its a decent song.
07.CANDY~ (Masuda, Kasai, Sato A.)
Is this not the oddest, mismatched lineup for a unit song ever? To a degree, yes, but its surprisingly good. I don’t know if its me, but I could easily imagine this song being from the mid 80’s, as it has that sort of retro-vibe to it. I was worried that Yuka’s super-strong vocals would be completely off from Tomomi and Amina’s super-high voices, but you know what, I think the three of them go together well, as surprising as that sounds.
08.Locker room boy (Ishida, Kobayashi, Kitahara, Hirajima, Chikano)
A decent song, but the unit itself is essentially just a member dump, as they had to pretty much find a place for all but one specific member by the time this unit rolled along. I don’t care for Kitarie being in the lead, mainly just because I’m absolutely sick of her. This is a decent song, but the unit itself sucks, because there are too many members, and most of them get totally shafted, especially Chikarina and Naachan. These 5+ member units just don’t work. The whole point to the unit songs is small groups in which every member gets some chance to shine. Large units just destroy that notion.
09.Yokaze no Shiwaza (Kashiwagi)
So previous I mentioned that I figured they dumped everyone they did into it because of one specific member, well, this is why. Yukirin gets her own solo song, so everyone else had to be crammed into one unit instead of spreading them out over two units. But you know what, I don’t mind one bit. Why? Hmm, well its simple; YUKIRIN SOLO SONG!!! This was truly the best part of the whole stage for me. I admit I accidentally spoiled it for myself, but seeing it actually happen was just awesome. Its a slow, soothing ballad, but I actually really like this one, and no, its not just because Yukirin’s singing it, its just a damn good song.
10.100 meter Conbini
This song is just damn cool. Its very techno-pop, and seeing as I love anything with a hint of techno in it, I love this song to death. I seriously hope future stages have songs like this one.
11.Suki Suki Suki
I actually first thought this song sounded pretty generic, but it ramps things up once it gets going.
12.SAYONARA no KANASHIBARI
Another hard hitting, powerful song. Hmm, maybe that’s what this new Team B is going for, a more powerful image. Well, with songs like this, I can defenitly see that.
13.Shiokaze no Shoudaijou
This is the only group ballad in the entire stage, and shockingly, its not the closing song. Its fairly more upbeat than most ballads, and truth be told, I actually like it.
For some reason, after listeneing to this song some more, I’m feel like this sounds like another AKB song, but I just can’t pinpoint which one though. It’s a Good song, by the way. Yet another hard-hitting tune.
15.Team B Oshi
So this one is essentially Team B’s new theme, so to speak. Its of the same vein as Wasshoi B!, in that it names all of the members over the course of the song, only difference now being (aside from the members of course) is that this is a more powerful, hard-hitting song than Wasshoi. This is one of the few songs that I think needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. The song itself is great on its own, but the accompanying performance is just frakking amazing!
16.Bokutachi no Kami Hikouki
An ending song that’s not a slow ballad? That’s new. I was rather pleased by this. Most stages end with a slow song, and while some of them are pretty good, its almost becoming a cliche. Having an upbeat song to close things is a fresh way of doing things.
So as you can see, musically, this is likely one of the best stages yet, and for me, it beats out K6 easily (and I love that stage a ton). Its the new Team B that I need some time before I can like them as much as the old Team B (if that’s even possible). But overall, this stage rocks harder than most of its predecessors.
Now, if I had to pick 5 songs that would be my favorites from this stage, well, it’s hard to not just say the entire stage, but these would be my top 5:
1 – Ai no Stripper
2 – Yokaze no Shiwaza
3 – 100 meter Conbini
4 – Team B Oshi
5 – Yuuki no Hammer
So there we have it, the new Team B. Now, to wait for the new Team A to debut, and were all set for the next stage in AKB48’s journey to the top.