Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
A photo of Sayaka Yamamoto of the Group NMB48
The significance of the single Kibouteki Refrain
Japanese girl group AKB48 has released lots of singles throughout their career. They released jacket covers and a short video for their 38th single called Kibouteki Refrain or Hopeful Refrain in English. That single was released on November 26, 2014 (Sayumi Michishige’s graduation day from Morning Musume). AKB48 usually releases singles every few months. Their 37th single called Kokoro no Placard was released in August 2014. And AKB48 continues to set records for their singles. Since their 20th single called Sakura no Ki ni Narou, they have released 18 straight singles that have sold one million copies or more. This was the case at the time that I first heard of this news. Sayonara Crawl which is their 31st single set a record at the time for the number of singles released in one day.
A short description of what happens in the music video for Kibouteki Refrain
Former AKB48 members Atsuko Maeda, Tomomi Itano, Mariko Shinoda, and Yuko Oshima make appearances in this promotional video or PV as it is called. The video or short clip features the members trying to run away from a mysterious group of men. These men are after a black bag that has two golden microphones. It starts with Minami Takahashi passing that bag to Acchan (the nickname for Atsuko Maeda) who then passes it to Jurina Matsui. Matsui was the center for the single called UZA. The bag goes around being passed to different members such as Haruka Shimazaki, Mayu Watanabe, Rino Sashihara, and Haruna Kojima. When these girls get cornered by the group of men, it is Shinoda, Itano, and Oshima who try to help them. The golden microphones are passed to the centers for this new single which was released two days after Thanksgiving in 2014. The 32 girls that were selected to be part of the Senbatsu members perform the song and then they start to run again. There are 950 extras that are a witness to the performance of the song.
A Special Comment About the Video for Kibouteki Refrain
The PV or promotional video for Kibouteki Refrain was directed by Hiroshi Sasaki. The running scenes that are shown in the video are used as the jacket covers for the single. As it has now been almost 6 years since the release of the single, now there is the full version of the video. Just like the previous single of AKB48, this song has the lyrical themes of love and romance once again.
When Was the Single Kibouteki Refrain Revealed?
The single comes in eight different versions, Regular editions A-D and Limited editions A-D. AKB48 has still retained its status as Japan’s most popular girl group and chances are that this will be true even in the near future. Congratulations to AKB48! The centers for Kibouteki Refrain are Sakura Miyawaki and Mayu Watanabe. On October 4, 2014, AKB48 revealed their single on the TV program called “All Star Kanshasai” or All Star Thanksgiving. This single also was the return of Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama to the stage. Kawaei and Iriyama were injured during a handshake event in Iwate Prefecture in May 2014. AKB48 first performed a medley of songs. They performed Flying Get, Heavy Rotation, and Koi suru Fortune Cookie. Here is a listing of some of the most well-known girls that participated in the singing of the song:
A photo of Mayu Watanabe one of the "centers" for Kibouteki Refrain
List of AKB48 members that sang in the song Kibouteki Refrain
- Haruna Kojima was the oldest member of AKB48. Kojima is no longer a member of AKB48 having graduated on April 19, 2017 which was also her 29th birthday.
- Minami Takahashi
- Anna Iriyama, 21, of Chiba
- Rina Kawaei, 20 of Kanagawa
- Mayu Watanabe
- Yuki Kashiwagi
- Minami Minegishi
- Jurina and Rena Matsui
- Sayaka Yamamoto
- Miyuki Watanabe
- Rino Sashihara
- Sae Miyazawa (She transferred to idol group SNH48 but then graduated at the end of 2015).
What is the Song Kibouteki Refrain About?
This analysis would not be complete if we did not talk about what the song Kibouteki Refrain or Hopeful Refrain is about. The song is about a girl that discovers love after she turns the corner. She really believes that the person that she is pursuing is her love interest. She loves him too much but she is convinced that he is the right person for her. She is convinced that this person is her true love and because of this true love, wonderful things happen. The song in terms of its style is very up-tempo and it is very similar to the song Heavy Rotation. And now, it is time to present a few interesting facts about AKB48’s 38th single.
- This single marks the first Senbatsu (high ranking) appearance for Mion Mukaichi.
- This song also marks the first major appearance for members Madoka Moriyasu and Miru Shiroma. I decided to describe it in this way to make it easier for readers to follow along.
- This single has the largest number of songs as well as the single Kuchibiru Ni Be My Baby which is 11.
Rate the song Kibouteki Refrain
© 2016 Ara Vahanian