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A Review and Analysis of the Song Sustainable by Japanese Pop Music Group Akb48

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

The limited edition Type A cover

The limited edition Type A cover

The Type A regular edition cover for the song Sustainable.

The Type A regular edition cover for the song Sustainable.

The Theater edition cover for Sustainable.

The Theater edition cover for Sustainable.

Sustainable is the 56th major single or song released by Japanese pop music girl group AKB48. The single was released on September 18, 2019 and the “center” for that song is a very young member named Moeka Yahagi. She of course graduated from AKB48 in February 2020 which we can discuss as well. But it is also important to know that Sustainable follows the release of the single Jiwaru Days which was the last big moment of the career of Rino Sashihara in AKB48. One interesting thing about Sustainable is that member Yui Yokoyama did not take part in the music video for the song because of a scheduling conflict. Sustainable is also the last single to feature the participation of center Moeka Yahagi.

Why the Song Sustainable Is a Significant Song

We can also make the case that Sustainable is more than just another AKB48 song and that there is added significance to the song as well. Sustainable sold 1, 380,266 copies in its first week of release and got to the top of the Oricon music charts. This is a consistent and solid pattern for this group as seemingly every one of their singles gets to rank very high on the charts. The song was composed by Yoshimasa Inoue, the same person that composed the song Halloween Night. Sustainable is said to be a song that sees AKB48 go back to their roots. The promotional video for Sustainable was taken in two cities: Furano and Asahikawa on the island of Hokkaido. The video is said to be incorporating motifs which are divided into periods of six years, the first of these which is when the group made their debut with the song Aitakatta in 2006.

"Sustainable" Instrumental Version

This Was a Big Moment for Member Moeka Yahagi

Sustainable is also a significant song because the “center” for the song is a girl that isn’t even 20 or even 18 years old. Getting named as choreographic center at such a young age is significant because it either means that you are talented enough or popular enough in the eyes of the fans to deserve such consideration.

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What Is the Song Sustainable About?

What is the song Sustainable even about? As I analyze this song, lyrically it is about a girl that reminisces and remembers what she did with her lover. They are far away and separated from each other and she wants to keep on loving him forever. The girl’s mobile phone has a photo of both of them dressed in swimsuits last year. She doesn’t want to forget about all the things that she could do with him. She has a desire to ask him out again to continue their relationship. She refers to something called the ocean season and once that season ended she was hesitant to invite him over again. But as time has passed, she wants to love him forever because she really misses him. So to keep things brief, Sustainable is a song about two separated lovers that want to reunite with each other.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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