I have been slowly going through AKB48’s discography and writing review posts for my new site. I knew I would learn stuff about Japanese culture I didn’t know. I didn’t know what I’d learn.

The title of this post is the English translation of an AKB48 song called “Seifuku Ga Jamaosuru”. The song isn’t very good, in my opinion. It’s just a JPop song. The dancers are spastic, the song is just a song, and there’s nothing really great about it.

But I watched the video.

And oh my…

The lyrics are pretty much about female sexual exploration. Taken by themselves, they’re kind of risque, tbh.

Toss aside my school uniform

I want to play more naughtily

I’ll do whatever you make me do

I want to know the fun of an adult

Toss aside my school uniform

I want to play more naughtily

I want to savor this thrill,

But I’m a high-school girl

Whatever (whatever)

Comes along,

It’ll be one way or another

Hug me

Seifuku Ga Jamaosuru (AKB48)

But the video… the video tells an entirely different story.

A schoolgirl walking through the streets of Shibuya. Not smiling. Not happy. No expression on her face but one of sadness, of resignation, even one of desperation. She met up with a man. And then she’s standing in the middle of the streets of Shibuya, and her face finally shows expression. Triumph. She got what she wanted.

This is why I love AKB48. It’s not because they make great music. They really don’t. But they know how to send a message, and they know how to hit you in the feels. I felt sad after watching that, and I think I was supposed to.

Remember when I said a while ago, that my sensei told me that Japan was a depressed country? They captured that perfectly. For such a developed country, the people there seem so alone, and even in the big city with all the bright lights and thousands of people crossing the intersections every time the light turns green…

She’s still alone.

They really hit me in the feels.

I don’t like the song. I don’t like the music. But I think it’s one of my favorites now.

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