AKB48 get Annoying

Japan’s top idol outfit AKB48 have made the video for new single ‘UZA’ available and shows the group adopting a Gothic visual look, whilst also going for a more Electropop sound.

The title of the single ‘UZA’ refers to the Japanese word ‘uzai’ (annoying) in the context of the tendency to restrain yourself in relationships. The arrangement of the song is quite surprising as it reveals a much more mature and robust sound compared to previous AKB48 outings (particularly the previous single ‘Gingham Check’ which was a by-the-numbers AKB48 light pop tune).

There’s a much stronger vocal at work here which fits in perfectly with the crunchy percussive rhythm. Naturally not everyone is pleased and some fans have complained that the girls aren’t really visible in video and that the song is neglecting long-term AKB fans in a bid to make the outfit more appealing to non-AKB fans. We can only view this as a very shrewd and welcome direction by the AKB48 team.

The Gothic visuals for the video are perfect for Halloween (which is when ‘UZA’ is due for release) and features some very complicated dance routines. The video was also directed by Joseph Kahn, who also directed the previous ‘Gingham Check’ video.

In other AKB48 news, the outfit will feature in new Disney film Wreck-It Ralph with the contribution of song ‘Sugar Rush’. The animated film, which follows the story of an arcade game villain out to prove he’s actually a good guy, will pull in nods to a wide range of game themes and characters and features a segment focusing on cart racing game Sugar Rush.

Producer Clark Spencer commented “We’ve always thought of Sugar Rush—with its nod to anime—as a game that may have originated in Japan,” said Spencer. “So we went to Japan and got the hottest J-pop group to perform the song that really sets the tone for this ’90s-era cart-racing game: young and hip.”

‘UZA’ is due for release on 31st October.

Wreck-It Ralph is released in the US on 2nd November and in the UK on 15th February.