Friday, July 30, 2010

Fanservice Galore~ Heavy Rotation PV's been released.

This single, now known by me as "Holy crap Maeda Atsuko's not the center and a member I like a lot more is? WOAHOAHOAHOAH" by AKB48 has had PV previews circling the net, and I don't know if I've seen this much buzz (both positive and negative) about a PV in quite some time. I think it was pretty much a given from the start that this single would have a lot of buzz surrounding it because it's NOT a Maeda Atsuko center and Oshima Yuko's centering/being the focus for the first time. Buuuut.

I have no idea how long this PV is going to last on YouTube given AKB getting taken down left and right. So enjoy while it lasts!!!

No, the real issue is the fanservice involved. A lot of people thought AKB's latest PV to Ponytail to Shushu was a lot of fanservice; before the actual song, the girls were supposedly "naked" while being covered by objects (like a surfboard, locker, etc.), and then they danced in mostly bikinis. But now in the PV to Heavy Rotation they spend half the time in their lingerie, lounging around, having pillow fights, and the other half is in cat type outfits, eating food and kissing around.

I've seen articles in blogs and on websites (Tokyo Hive, mainly) that have addressed this, and there are a LOT of surprising misconceptions. The main one I'd like to address is:


No. This PV really only focuses on 12 girls who made media senbatsu (the upper level) whereas the other 10 or so are just in the background (which makes me happy that my favorite, Oota Aika, is the center of the Undergirls PV as opposed to just dancing in the back of the main PV). Of these twelve girls, only TWO are underage. Watanabe Mayu, who is 16, and Matsui Jurina, who is 13.

Now, you might go "But Serenyty. 13 is VERY young to be in these types of PVs"; actually, I've been happily surprised to find out that Matsui Jurina is actually NOT sexualized. In this PV, there really aren't that many shots of her (and Mayu, really) that aren't either close-ups or very specific non-sexualized shots. I was looking for a picture of her in the lingerie scenes and I'm sure if I looked VERY hard I'd be able to find one; however, the underage girls are really NOT the focus, and the main fanservicey bits are centered around the legal adults.

This is Jurina; the girls who's front and center. I see a lot of people get uppity about both Ponytail to ShuShu AND Heavy Rotation, for the "underage" girls. However, if you look at Jurina's swimsuit for Ponytail to Shushu, that is one of the least revealing swimsuits. It'd only be barely less revealing if it was a one-piece, but even then her shorts here are cut much less revealingly than that. Would you have Jurina wear a parka?

Honestly, while a few scenes in Heavy Rotation made me go "Really? they went there?" (the kissing that went on, the "whipped cream" face of Itano Tomomi who is very much over 18), I don't really get the big fuss. The girls are running around playing sleepover in lingerie that often covers more than their bikinis for Ponytail and the other parts are in cat-type outfits. They're not even really trying to act alluring; it's fun and cute, with the main "issue" being the costume choice.

BTW I really like the PV/song. I used to be very "meh" towards the song, but it's grown on me and is now a VERY addicting song. I much prefer the style of the Undergirls B-side "Namida no Seesaw Game", but this is a pretty solid A-Side.


  1. I really enjoyed this post. Just to let you know, but I bet you already know this, the legal age in Japan is 20. Here it is 18. However the whole legal age depends in Japan. Driving: 18. Legal Consent Laws: varies 13-18. Voting and Drinking: 20. Sorry about the tangent.

  2. @Yanki*Mina: Thanks for the nice comment! Yeah, I knew about the legal age being 20, but I was having trouble finding a bunch of actual info about consent laws. Apparently the national consent age is 13 but certain prefectures can raise it if they so choose. However, I think Japan really took a lot of notes out of the book of the US when it comes to sexuality/nudity/adult behaviors, because while 20 is the official age you're an "adult", 18 seems to be an age for a lot of things (a recent example is that Nakanishi Rina's AV debut is rebranding herself as being "19"). So I just used 18 as a general age marker, because it makes sense to both a Western mindset and I also think it works in Japan as well.