ハート・エレキTypeK(通常盤)(多売特典なし) Single, CD+DVD, Maxi
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The single was a surprise to a lot of people who were watching the annual “Janken Taikai” (rock-paper-scissors tournament) held in September, because the center of the single was first generation AKB48 member, Haruna Kojima. Which many fans took to the Internet thinking that because Kojima is one of the oldest members of AKB48, she will be the next person that will be graduating from the group.
Also, what made it a bit interesting for fans is that each member was using English names instead of their real Japanese names during the performance. Kojima going by the name of Michelle, Takamina as Linda, Oshima as Cindy, Kashiwagi as Catherine, Mayuyu as Elizabeth, Paruru as Angelina, etc.
And AKB48 has continued the streak of selling over a million copies alive as “Heart Ereki” sold 1,021,000 copies in its first day of release.
Also, the “Heart Ereki” single will mark the beginning that there will be four CD+DVD releases and one theater edition release. (note: This is because there are now four AKB48 teams: Team A, Team K, Team B and the new incarnation of Team 4).
The version that I will be reviewing for this single is “Heart Ereki (Type-K)” which features Rena Matsui, Haruka “Paruru” Shimazaki, Mayu “Mayuyu” Watanabe, Jurina Matsui and Yui Yokoyama on the front cover, while the reverse features Rino Sashihara, Yuko Oshima, Haruna Kojima, Minami Takahashi and Yuki Kashiwagi.
When the single insert is opened up, it’s a four panel insert with one side featuring all 16 members holding an electric guitar with their marching band uniform, while the other side features the lyrics, production credits but also the English names of each of the members.
The single kicks off with “Heart Ereki”, a catchy, upbeat rock track with cool guitar playing and features wonderful vocals from each member and also with each member singing in unison. The song is about loving someone so much that it becomes suffocating. And with their index finger pointing right at the person is an L sign and wanting people to feel the electric (or electric guitar). And how she feels inside, she can only express her true emotion through her index finger.
The second track on the single is titled “Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku” (which translates to “Express Train and Dynamic Vision”) performed by the Undergirls. The song is an upbeat idol pop song and is a song about one-sided love. About how one sees the guy she likes through the express train that has passed by. And why she goes to school at a certain time, because she can catch the person she likes through the window of the express train. And she hopes one day, when she sees him and sees her, their eyes will meet. But can such a relationship start from this? Probably not but it’s a dynamic vision for now.
The third vocal track is titled “Sasameyuki Regret” (which translates to “Light Snowfall Regret”) and is an upbeat ballad by Team K. Team K tracks are usually upbeat dance tracks but while upbeat, it’s a ballad that about an argument during the winter. While there is snowfall, she was hoping that being obedient to the person that they love, that maybe the person would come back when they saw her in tears but the person didn’t do anything. So, now she feels very sad. She really loves the person and she can hold on to the beautiful memories but as the light snowfall makes her face and hair wet, there is nothing but regret.
The final three tracks on the single are the instrumental songs of the first three tracks on the single.
As for the accompanying DVD, there are a total of five DVD tracks.
The first DVD track is the long version(2o-minutes) of “Heart Ereki” and it features a story about a group known as “G. Fingers” and the leader/drummer/vocalist Catherine (portrayed by Yuki Kashiwagi) being asked about who the next lead vocalist will be for the group. Behind closed doors, Catherine surprises everyone by selecting keyboardist/vocalist Michelle (portrayed by Haruna Kojima). But lead vocalist Sandy (portrayed by Rena Matsui) is very upset by this decision and it leads to a heated argument among Sandy and lead guitarist Linda (portrayed by Minami Takahashi), while bass guitarist Lucy (portrayed by Yuko Oshima) tries to cool both of them down.
Sandy can’t accept Michelle being the new vocalist and she leaves the everyone on the bus. Eventually after a long discussion, Sandy comes to her senses and accepts Michelle as the new lead vocalist and together, they all perform their new song “Heart Ereki”.
It’s important to note that directing this music video was Shusuke Kaneko (director of the live-action adaptation of “Death Note” and man of the Giant Monsters films).
The second DVD track is the dance version of “Heart Ereki”. No drama or featuring the group with instruments, this is dance-only portion of the music video.
The third track is for a nearly 12-minute drama music video for “Kaisokku to Dotai Shiryoku” which features the AKB48 Undergirls. The video features Rena Kato looking very depressed and we learn that she got into an argument with her friend (played by SKE48 member Akari Suda) about her friend not being there for her. And then we see all the girls at art school and everyone noticing the friction between Rena and Akari but we learn that the reason why Akari has not been in school or putting a lot of time into her art work of late is because her father has been hospitalized and she has been spending time with him in the hospital.
And then the music video features the AKB48 Undergirls performing and eventually, we see Rena trying to patch things up between her and Akari.
The fourth music video is for “Sasameyuki Regret” and the video features Jurina riding a bike and Yuko singing in class and Team K singing in class. And the two in their school outfits begin singing. And everyone from Team K races to the top of the building in hopes to find something important to them.
The final fifth video is the graduation video for longtime AKB48 member and former Team K captain Sayaka Akimoto. The 22-minute video features Sayaka’s first time with Team K and a chance to see everyone young and when they were first part of the group. And how the group grew together like family as part of Team K and how Sayaka led the team and celebrating her birthday with her. And the final four days with the Team K members with Sayaka for her graduation performances including the original Team K members and her closest friends which include Yuko Oshima, Sae Miyazawa (now with SHN48), Ayaka Umeda (now with Team B), Kana Kobayashi including members who have graduated like Tomomi Kasai, Natsumi Matsubara and former Team K members that were part of SDN48.
It’s important to note that this is a region 2 DVD and will not play on a region 1 player (unless you have a non-region DVD player) but can be played on a MAC or PC using free video playing software such as VLC or Daum PotPlayer.
Overall, “Heart Ereki” is an entertaining CD+DVD release. It’s important to note that while Type-K also has the long version and dance version of “Heart Ereki” and the Undergirls song “Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku”, Type-K only has “Sasameyuki Regret” and personally, the best documentary video of the three types with Sayaka Akimoto’s graduation. For anyone who has followed Sayaka’s career with AKB48 and seen her grow with the group and how she was a true leader, watching this video literally makes you want to shed tears because AKB48 has lost such a magnificent team member but at the same time, knowing that her goal becoming an actress or working in theater will definitely pay off.
So, if you have to pick one…Type-K of “Heart Ereki” is a fantastic CD+DVD single that features AKB48 first generation member Kojiharu as the lead center and you get the Undergirls and Team K track. While on the DVD, you get the final farewell performance featuring longtime AKB48 member Sayaka Akimoto. Personally, while I enjoyed the music and music videos on Type-B the most, I enjoyed the DVD documentary on “Heart Ereki (Type-K)” the best!
“Heart Ereki (Type-K)” is highly recommended.